While Armenia’s Special Investigative Service (SIS) has called on Hetq to stop its coverage of the mining businesses of its Chief of Staff, Davit Sukiasyan, labelling its coverage as “demeaning the good character and dignity” of Sukiasyan, Hetq has learnt that ML Mining, a company owned by him, has filed yet another mining permit application.
This time, the company seeks to start extracting basalt and other ores, in open-pit fashion, at a mining site in Aragatsotn Province, some 3-6 kilometers southeast of the town of Ashtarak.
The Armenian government today approved granting ML Mining a waiver of customs tax on imported equipment, arguing that the company has already invested AMD 1 billion and plans to invest another AMD 2 billion in the project.
The SIS, in an attempt to clear Sukiasyan of any conflict of interest issues, wrote to Hetq that the official had handed over management of his shares in ML Mining to others, in a power of attorney contract, and that he’s no longer involved in the day-to-day activities of the company.
Nevertheless, photos obtained by Hetq show Sukiasyan visiting one of the mine sites. (See top photo).
Thus, Sukiasyan has not fully relieved himself of the day-to-day operations of his mining operations.