Thursday, December 14 2023 11:17
Marianna Mkrtchyan

EDB treats Amulsar project in Armenia very carefully and cautiously -  EDB official

EDB treats Amulsar project in Armenia very carefully and cautiously -  EDB official

ArmInfo.The Eurasian Development Bank (EDB) treats the Amulsar project in Armenia very  carefully and cautiously. Denis Ilyin, Deputy Chairman of the EDB Board, stated this on December 14 in Almaty, summing up the results of the Bank's year of activity.

Thus, when clarifying at what stage the issue of EDB participation in  the project to develop the Amulsar gold mine is, Ilyin noted that  this project to some extent causes conflicting feelings. "The project  is extremely important for the country's economy. We treat it very  carefully and cautiously. And in order to make a final decision, it  is necessary not only to conduct examinations, but also a plan, first  of all, for the economic support of this project in order to preserve  the national park located there. To receive all the benefits that the  government and residents of the country are counting on, but at the  same time preserve as much as possible the existing unique ecological  state of this region," he noted.

According to Ilyin, the parties are now at the stage of forming this  environmental plan, and if it is agreed upon and adopted, then it  will be possible to make a decision on final entry into the project.  "The plan is being formed, we hope to complete it by the end of the  year and present it," said the deputy chairman of the EDB board. He  added that after the successful approval of the environmental plan,  it will be presented to the Armenian public in order to show how all  this will look and be implemented in practice before it all begins to  be implemented. Therefore, the project is at the development stage,"  summarized Denis Ilyin.

On February 21, the Government of the Republic of Armenia, Lydian  Armenia CJSC and the Eurasian Development Bank signed a memorandum of  understanding, which marked the restart of the program for the  exploitation of the Amulsar field. As part of the memorandum, it is  planned to raise $250 million, of which $100 million will be loan  funds from the EDB, $50 million will be secured by a local bank, and  an additional $100 million will be invested outside the agreement by  shareholders. As part of the deal, the Armenian government will  receive 12.5% of the company's shares, for which it will not pay  anything, but instead will insure the deal against certain risks.

Since the end of 2018, the Amulsar gold deposit has been blocked by  environmental activists. The government was unable to decide on the  resumption of construction of the mine and work on it had to be  suspended. In March 2022, Armenian Minister of Economy Vahan Kerobyan  noted that if nothing interferes, the work of the Amulsar gold  deposit will be resumed, referring to the department's program of  activities, which contains a provision on solving the Amulsar  problem.

Previously, before the change of beneficiaries, Lydian Armenia was a  subsidiary of the British offshore Lydian International and placed  shares on the Toronto Stock Exchange. The company then went through  the delisting procedure. As a result of the restructuring, the full  stake in the company passed to the newly created Canadian-American  Lydian Canada Ventures, the beneficiaries of which are the American  company Orion Mine Finance and the Canadian Osisko Gold Royalties.  The total cost of the Amulsar project is $370 million. The life of  the deposit is 10 years and 4 months, while it is planned to produce  an average of 200 thousand ounces of gold annually. The field is the  second largest in reserves in Armenia.

According to the company, the deposit contains approximately 73,733  kg of gold with an average grade of 0.78 g per ton, as well as  294,367 tons of silver with an average grade of 9.29 g per ton. It is  located in the southeast of the country, 13 km from the resort town  of Jermuk, between the Arpa and Vorotan rivers.  

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