ArmInfo. On July 17, RA Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan instructed Deputy Minister of Energy Infrastructures and Natural Resources of the Republic of Armenia Vardan Gevorgyan to meet with specialists of the Ministry with the participation of members of the Union of Subsurface Users and Metallurgists of Armenia.
According to the ministry, during the meeting issues that required urgent decision in the sphere of mining industry were discussed. Representatives of the Union presented the problems of the sphere, stressed the need to attract investment and the deployment of unhindered activities. The participants of the meeting noted the importance of forming a positive public opinion in relation to the mining industry and noted that it is necessary to make explanatory work, speeches, organize press conferences. Representatives of mining companies noted that most companies - subsoil users are large taxpayers and employers, and therefore any deviation from normal work adversely affects the development of the country's economy and leads to a decrease in budget revenues. The subsoil users expect through the dialogue of the state with the society to contribute to the organization of the normal operation of one of the industries that are of key importance for the Armenian economy.
Immediately after the "velvet revolution" and the change of power in the country, mass actions began in Armenia aimed at hindering the activities of mining companies. Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan also touched upon this topic. On July 5, during a trip to Syunik region, he said that, with the necessary facts, the Armenian government will take a decision on the mining sector. The head of government stressed that in Armenia the depths of the country were being destroyed, and the economic growth of the country was linked with the world prices for copper. "I think this is a problem, but I do not think that the mining industry should be shut down. I gave instructions to conduct research on all polymetallic deposits to ensure they are in compliance with environmental standards. "I ask you to give us the opportunity to gather facts on the basis of which it will be possible to make decision. I, as prime minister, do not have the right to just make decisions about closing a mine. To make a decision it is necessary to collect facts that must be undeniable," Nikol Pashinyan stressed. He added that he does not have any corrupt obligations with any of the mines.
At the state balance of mineral resources at present more than 670 deposits of solid minerals with confirmed reserves, including 30 metal deposits, are registered. About 400 of these deposits are exploited, including 22 metal ones. There are 7 copper-molybdenum deposits, 4 copper, 14 gold and gold- polymetallic deposits, 2 iron ore and 1 aluminum ore on metallic minerals. Armenia also occupies one of the leading places in the world for the richness and diversity of nonmetallic ore reserves. According to independent observers, the previous authorities had special agreements with subsoil users who, using their offshore companies, sold them ore concentrate at a low price. And those, in turn, resold it at market prices to end-users. Thus, the republic received less than half of the proceeds from the sale of minerals. This predatory mechanism, as a rule, is blocked in international practice by a high level of royalty, which makes the use of such schemes unprofitable. In Armenia, in connection with non-gratuitous agreements with the previous authorities, the level of royalties was extremely low, which created a favorable ground for concealing the real incomes of companies and the active use of offshore schemes for this.