Inspection Bias: Lydian Armenia Charges Armenian Government Seeks to Scuttle Amulsar Mine Project
The following is a Lydian Armenia press release.
During the last 12 years the Amulsar project has been diligently conducting Environmental studies and associated mitigation measures to ensure compliance with both Armenian regulatory requirements and international best practices. Over this period of time the Company invested, in good faith, approximately half a billion dollars and is poised to complete that investment and provide long term benefits to stakeholders including in particular to local communities and Armenia as a whole.
Over the last three months, Lydian has been illegally prevented from continuing its construction work, expecting the Government to apply basic rule of law. The failure of the government to follow the rule of law has caused both serious financial and moral losses, which continue and are escalating as a result of the Government’s conduct.
Since July 6, the Government initiated inspections at Amulsar. The Company has always been transparent and prepared for any inspection. Prior to the inspections, we notified the Government representatives that the Head of the Inspection Body, Artur Grigoryan, an activist, has consistently expressed biased, unsubstantiated negative opinions against the Amulsar project clearly evidencing a serious conflict of interest as Head of the Inspection Body. Taking this into consideration, we believe that he could not lead the Audit in a fair, objective and professional manner. Resolution published by the Inspection Body and following public statements made by Artur Grigoryan are aimed at cancelling the largest foreign investment project without any legal or scientific basis, and with amateurish reasoning. While the inspection group was not able to identify any serious issues that could be a reason for public concern, Artur Grigoryan has issued unreasonable and unlawful conclusions, disregarding any consideration for the seriousness of his mission and consequences of such irresponsible behavior.
While we insist that Amulsar has been designed and is being constructed to meet the highest environmental standards, this has not been recognized by the Armenian Government. There are forces that are taking advantage of the Government’s inaction who seek to undermine and discredit the Amulsar project to satisfy their own interests. Both genuinely unknowledgeable and paid disruptive activists as well as irresponsible elements in the region are used for this intention.
This onerous situation that started more than three months ago has serious consequences harming thousands of Armenians and their families in respect of the Lydian situation directly and strikes an irreparable blow on the investment reputation and the economy of the country.
The Company calls Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan to take urgent steps towards elimination of the ongoing illegality around the Amulsar Project and stop illegal actions against this international company by government agencies.
Top photo courtesy of Lydian Armenia