Of the two individuals that own shares in a company set to operate the Ardjoud gold mine in Armenia, one directs an NGO that granted discredited Syunik Governor Surik Khachatryan an honorary doctorate, while the other is a major advisor to Armenia’s police chief.
The company in question is Baktek Eco Ltd. which is owned by Grigor Badiryan (65%) and Azat Vardanyan (35%)
Vardanyan runs an outfit called the International Information Academy that granted Surik Khachatryan, who was forced to temporarily resign from the post of Syunik Governor after a deadly shoot-out erupted near his home and has since been reinstated, his doctorate.
He also serves as president of the Armenian-Canadian Chamber of Commerce.
As for GrigorBadiryan, there is only one such person with that name in the RA voter rolls. That information squares with what appears in the state registry, which identifies him as the police chief’s main advisor and a member of the RA Council of Justice.
Badiryan is also Armenia’s Honorary Consul to Belgium.
Grigor Badiryan told Hetq that the day to day running of the company is lefty to his partner Vardanyan, who he described as a “savvy individual who knows the mining sector well”.
Badiryan couldn’t say how much the company was planning to invest in the Ardjoud gold mine and that studies are on-going.
When Hetq noted that Armenian environmentalists have claimed that the mine’s real risks to the environment are not included in the company’s proposed plan, that has received the green light from the government, Badiryan replied that as far as he knows “there are no environmental problems associated with the mine’s operation and that the company is obliged to satisfy all related Armenian laws.”
He added that public hearings have been held with the participation of local residents and environmental and civic organizations.
The Ardjoud gold mine, located 12 kilometers northwest of the town of Vanadzor on the left bank of the Pampak River, will be operated as an open-pit mine.
The pit itself covers 15.7 hectares and there will be a 14 hectare tailings dam.
The extracted ore will be processed at the Armanis Enrichment Factory some 30 kilometers away.
In the company’s environmental assessment of the area, the presence of several mountain springs with potable water and mineral springs is noted.
The assessment of the area, which is not protected under government zoning, states that there is no endangered flora in the area according to Armenia’s Red Book of Endangered Species.
The company’s plan noted that 55 Ardjoud village residents will be put to work at the mine and that 650,000 AMD will be invested in a socio-economic improvement program in the community.
GrigorBadiryan’s photo: iravaban.net