ArmInfo.The share of the Armenian government in the projects planned by the new shareholders of the country's largest Zangezur Copper-Molybdenum Combine (ZCMC) at all stages of their implementation will be at least 25%.
As Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan noted, speaking in parliament the night before, since 2000 to this day, for the first time, the Republic of Armenia and the people of Armenia have become co-owners of ZCMC. "This is an accomplished fact, and I am sure that this share will increase, but to such volumes so as not to deform the market essence of our country's economy," the head of government stressed.
Pashinyan noted that when it was announced that the government had become a co-owner of ZCMC, there were different opinions, in particular, regarding the fact that this is a dark and dubious deal. <But this would be so if the owner of 15% was not the government, but an offshore company, which would belong to another offshore company, which in turn would belong to one of the members of the government's family. Meanwhile, there are people in this room who, in the course of their activities, concluded such deals, and I think that our law enforcement agencies should seriously address this issue, "he said.
At the same time, Pashinyan emphasized that this proposal from one of the owners of GeoProMining, the head of its Board of Directors (Roman Trotsenko - Ed. note) fully coincides with the state and economic interests of Armenia, and includes 2 important components.
As the head of the government explained, the construction of a copper smelter will allow Armenia to export not concentrate, but the metal itself. Secondly, part of the program is the construction of a new small nuclear power plant (115 MW), where government participation is very important.
In this context, he noted that the government is facing the task of launching the construction of a copper smelter by June 2025, and trying to make sure that construction work on the nuclear power plant starts in parallel with this.
"We have the opportunity to secure investments for $ 4-6 billion in the next 5 years. Serious work must be done in order not to miss this prospect. Realizing this opportunity presents a serious challenge for us, "he said.
At the same time, Pashinyan noted that it is important for investors that during the process, the tax legislation of the Republic of Armenia becomes a guarantee for investors to a certain extent, so that no significant changes are foreseen in the visible future, which will allow investors to calculate their investment plans. <The tax field should also serve the interests of Armenia. We are currently working on a royalty system. I think we will introduce a fair system so that in the event of a significant increase in metal prices, the expectations of the people of Armenia are justified, and in the event of a drop in prices, investors would have protection, a safety cushion, so that the blows associated with market fluctuations would be tolerable for them>, explained the Prime Minister.
Earlier it was reported that the Russian JSC Industrial Company, which is a 100% subsidiary of GeoProMining Armenia, became the new owner of 60% of ZMMC. On September 30, the RA government approved the decision to accept as a gift 25% of shares of Industrial Company JSC, which make up 15% of the total capital of ZMMC. As stated in the joint statement of GeoProMining and the Government of Armenia, member of the Board of Directors of GeoProMining Roman Trotsenko announced plans to expand cooperation with the Government of the Republic of Armenia, and this is the first step within a broader investment vision. "All this will benefit the Republic of Armenia, the people and our shareholders, as well as open up new opportunities for the Armenian economy. We intend to begin construction of a new copper smelter in Armenia in the coming years," Trotsenko said.
It should be reminded that GeoProMining Group of Companies (GeoProMining) entered Armenia in 2007, with the acquisition of GPM Gold, which operates the Sotk gold deposit and the Ararat gold recovery plant. Then the company acquired the Agarak Copper-Molybdenum Combine. The company has invested about $ 400 million in the Armenian economy and has become the largest private industrial investor in Armenia. The investments were aimed at technical re-equipment and technological modernization of two enterprises.
Zangezur Copper Molybdenum Combine CJSC (ZCMC) is the largest mining company in Armenia. The combine exploits the Kajaran copper-molybdenum deposit. The plant has been supplied with ore for about 150 years. The plant has been producing molybdenum and copper concentrates. 50% molybdenum, copper content in copper concentrate - not less than 15%.