Lydian International Limited confirmed Thursday, August 22 that Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan of Armenia stated in a post to social media that he asked the Ministry of Environment on August 21, 2019 to review a report from the Special Investigative Committee of the Republic of Armenia (SIC) relating to the Amulsar Project.
The SIC Report reviews Lydian’s response to the recommendations by Earth Link & Advanced Resources Development contained in its report to the SIC on the Amulsar Project. Lydian understands that the ME’s review is directed toward whether there may need to be any further Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) conducted in respect of the Amulsar Project. Lydian has received no official confirmation of either the Prime Minister’s request of the ME or the scope or duration of any review to be conducted by the ME.
Edward Sellers, Interim President & CEO of Lydian International, commented: “The Prime Minister made clear public statements after receiving the Audit Report and Lydian’s Response affirming that: a) there is no basis on which to prevent the Company from completing and operating the Amulsar Project; and b) the Company will be permitted to do so. Indeed, the Prime Minister lauded the Amulsar Project publicly for its standards of environmental stewardship and indicated the Government of Armenia would be requiring other mines in Armenia to move toward that standard.”
“To hear that the Prime Minister has asked for consideration of whether any additional EIA process is required in respect of the Amulsar Project is more than disappointing, particularly after the Prime Minister’s recent public statements. Lydian has been subject to three environmental audits over the past year during which there was no suggestion that any additional EIA process would be required.”
Sellers continued: “The SIC Report substantiated that the recommendations contained in the Audit Report had already been addressed or are contemplated in the management plan Lydian submitted as part of the EIA process that resulted in Lydian being awarded its mining rights. Neither the SIC Report or the Audit Report suggest that there are design changes to the Amulsar Project which might require a new assessment.”
“Lydian has not changed the design of its intended construction or operation of the Amulsar Project from that which was contemplated in the original EIA process. Indeed, construction on the Amulsar Project in accordance with its permits was over 75% complete when the illegal blockades commenced. The suggestion that anything more would be required of Lydian in that regard is unfounded.”
Lydian is a gold developer focused on construction at its 100%-owned Amulsar Project, located in south-central Armenia. However, illegal blockades have prevented access to Amulsar since late June 2018. Amulsar is expected to be a large-scale, low-cost operation with production targeted to average approximately 225,000 ounces annually over an initial 10-year mine life. Estimated mineral resources contain 3.5 million measured and indicated gold ounces and 1.3 million inferred gold ounces as outlined in the Q1 2017 Technical Report. Existing mineral resources beyond current reserves and open extensions provide opportunities to improve average annual production and extend the mine life. Lydian is committed to good international industry practices in all aspects of its operations including production, sustainability, and corporate social responsibility.