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Samson Martirosyan

Armenian Economy Minister Says Controversial Amulsar Mine to Reopen

Armenian Minister of Economy Vahan Kerobyan today announced that the government has signed  a $250 million deal with Lydian Armenia CJSC to restart operations at the controversial Amulsar gold mine.

The deal, a memorandum of understanding signed between the Armenian government Armenia, the Eurasian Development Bank and Lydia Armenia, will pump US$250 million into the Amulsar project to complete construction work and purchase mining equipment.

The Armenian government will get a 12.5% stake in Lydian Armenia in return for allowing the mine to reopen.

Kerobyan said the mine will create hundreds of jobs and increase Armenia’s GDP by one percent. He said Lydian Armenia will provide $7 million in assistance to   impacted communities at the mine site that straddles the Vayots Dzor-Syunik provincial border in southern Armenia.

The mine has stood idle for years because of conflicting environmental impact studies and public protests against it.

The Pashinyan administration, which originally opposed mining at Amulsar now supports it, pointing to the country’s post-war economic needs.

Lydian Armenia is a 100% subsidiary of Lydian Canada Ventures, owned by the U.S. firm Orion Mine Finance, and the Canadian company Osisko Gold Royalties.    

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