VANCOUVER (miningweekly.com) – Lydian Armernia, the local subsidiary of Canadian project developer Lydian International, has defended itself in writing against several reports funded by environmental activists to derail construction of the Amulsar gold project, in Armenia, which is slated for first production during the third quarter.
Four technical reports were prepared and published in July 2017 on behalf of an environmental activist, taking aim at specific chapters of the gold project's environmental- and social-impact assessment (Esia) of 2016, and taking a swipe at the recommendations contained in the mine’s Canadian National Instrument 43-101-compliant technical report.
“On reviewing the commissioned reports, it was clear to Lydian that they contained a fundamental misunderstanding of both geochemistry and the modern best practice mitigations approved in the Esia and presented throughout the many public meetings,” the company said in a statement on Monday.
Lydian Armenia responded in writing to all the comments and questions raised by the reports on Amulsar’s environmental management, and its experts remain confident in the global best practice mitigation measures developed for the Amulsar project and are ready to defend their approach.
“We will proceed as planned, and will have an independent and internationally known expert on environmental management Larry Breckenridge of Global Resource Engineering present industry best practices applied at the Amulsar project to the Ministry of Nature Protection in January,” Lydian stated.
According to Lydian, the $370-million Amulsar project is meeting or surpassing all legal obligations by applying international standards. The project is now in its final stage of construction.
Lydian advised that it maintains a firm belief that the Amulsar project is part of the "development opportunity" for Armenia, and that the project will establish new standards in areas of social and environmental management in mining. The project is now more than 60% complete.
Amulsar will be Armenia’s largest gold mine and make Lydian one of the largest emerging gold producers of 2018. Estimated mineral resources contain 3.5-million measured and indicated gold ounces and 1.3-million inferred gold ounces. Gold production is targeted to average about 225 000 oz/y over an initial ten-year mine life.