The debts at the Akhtala Mountain Enrichment Combinat, a mining company in Armenia’s northern Lori Province, continue to grow.
It has racked up $1 million in debt owed to Aparazh Ltd., the company that does the drilling in the Shamlough copper mine.
Wholly owned by Metal Prince Ltd., Akhtala MEC processes copper ore from the Shamlough mine.
But debts are the only issue facing the company.
Processing equipment at Akhtala MEC is said to be in a state of disrepair and it seems that management has no plans to make the needed investment in new technology.
Rumor has it that Chief Engineer Gagik Shahnazaryan filed a petition to resign on September 5. In a telephone conversation with Hetq, Shahnazaryan said he was still on official vacation, noting that he had grown displeased with the way the company was being managed.
He and other officials point to the erratic human resources policies of Executive Director Madeline Tashjian as the cause of the trouble. She took over the reins of Metal Prince, after her husband Serob Der-Boghosian was found guilty in November 2011 of “having sex with minors against their will”.
At the end of June, Tashjian fired Deputy Director Orbeli Tarminyan without giving any reason. She then replaced him with Armen Naghdalyan, who was running the Shamlough mine. But the company’s fortunes didn’t improved.
In August, Tashjian dismissed Tarminyan and appointed a Serb, Nedelko Goulich, as Deputy Director at Akhtala MEC.
Goulich was known to be a specialist on the production side of things and workers hoped he could turn things around at the company.
He never got the chance to prove his worth.
On September 5, Madeline Tashjian showed up at a management meeting in the company of two young men. She introduced one of them, Artyom Abgaryan, as her new assistant.
She then dropped another bombshell by introducing the other man, Levon Sargsyan, as the company’s new Deputy Director.
It was at this meeting that Chief Engineer Gagik Shahnazaryan got up and declared that he would be leaving Akhtala MEC.
Photo: Madeline Tashjian, Serob Der-Boghossian