Marine Martirosyan

Environmentalist Threatens Sit Down Strike to Halt Syunik Governor's Mining Expansion Plans

Armen Parsadanyan, an environmental activist and president of the Kapan “Sustainable development” NGO, told Hetq today that he is ready to stage a one-man sit down strike to halt further mining in Syunik Province.

Parsandyan says he’s concerned about a recent statement by Syunik Provincial Governor Surik Khachatryan hinting that the government has plans to greatly expand mining in the area as of next year.

“There are serious plans to operate new mines in Syunik. Development in the southern reaches of the province will also involve mining. We shouldn’t shy away from mining and must attract investors, Khachatryan stated, adding that thousands of new jobs are envisaged as a result.

The provincial governor failed to provide details on the planned for mining projects.

“He limited his statement by only noting that the new mines would be in Syunik’s southern region. Nevertheless, the issue remains problematic wherever they operate. If thousands of jobs are to open up, as he claims, this can only mean mining on a huge scale, which will be a disaster for Syunik,” Parsadanyan told Hetq.

The activist noted that if the governor was referring to Geghi Gold, a company that operates a mine at the springs that provide water to Kapan, the threat is all the more real.

Top Photo: Kapan water reservoir, Surik Khachatryan