Lori Village Residents Disrupt Public Hearing on Local Gold Mine Project
Residents of Armenia’s Karaberd vilage in the country’s northern Lori Province today barred representatives of a mining company that wants to expand geological surveys at a local gold mine from entering the town hall where a public hearing was scheduled.
The company, Assat LLC, also wants to extend its operating license at the mine that expires in 2024 and build a Chinese-made eco-technological ore-enriching factory on the site.
Mher Poghosyan, son of the former Armenian MP Aleksan Poghosyan, owns 20% of the company. Three Czech citizens own the remainder in equal proportions.
Assat LLC stopped extracting gold ore at the mine in 2016 due to a drop in gold prices.
Karaberd, with a population of some 100, mostly seniors, is slowing becoming a ghost town. It was a thriving community until the 1970s, when the government decided to relocate residents to Vanadzor, which was being developed as an industrial hub.
Karaberd is only 15 km away from Vanadzor, the capital of the province, but the last five kilometers of road leading to the village transport the visitor to a place cut off from the wider world.