IFC pulls out of Amulsar gold mine following complaints by NGOs & local residents over health concerns

Get RSS feed of these results

All components of this story

Company response
25 September 2017

Lydian International's response to article about IFC's divestment from Amulsar mine

Author: Lydian International

As part of the recently completed CAO investigation into IFC’s due diligence on the Amulsar project – the IFC has responded with the following statement:

“We are pleased to note that in its report, CAO recognizes IFC’s contributions to the (Amulsar) project in preparing an ESIA in line with IFC’s Performance Standards and good international industry practice. This is a significant achievement and standard setting for Armenia’s mining sector. Given that Lydian has succeeded in attracting funding for mine development from private sector sources, IFC has divested its investment in Lydian, as we seek to deploy our capital where it is needed most to foster sustainable economic development. IFC is therefore no longer overseeing mine development. Nevertheless, we believe that the sustainable development of the Amulsar project has the potential to contribute to economic growth in Armenia”.

It is also worth noting that EBRD is among the participating funding sources for the project and continues to monitor the project Environmental and Social Performance to ensure adherence to EBRD’s Performance Requirements.

Article
21 September 2017

International Finance Corporation pulls out of Amulsar gold mine following complaints by NGOs & local residents over health concerns

Author: EcoLur Network (Armenia)

"International Finance Corporation of World Bank (IFC) Refused from Funding Lydian International's Amulsar Project", 14 September 2017

International Finance Corporation of World Bank Group, (IFC), refused from funding Lydian International's Amulsar Project, as the letter addressed to Osvaldo Gratacós, Vice President and CAO, says. The IFC's letter is, as a matter of fact, a response to the Ombudsman's report on the complaints lodged by the NGOs and the residents of the local communities affected by Amulsar open gold mining and heap leaching project. The complainants were demanding from the IFC to pull out of this project, as it doesn't comply with the IFC standards and requirements.

Read the full post here

Item
11 January 2017

Lydian International's response to rejoinder by Pan-Armenian Environmental Front (PAEF) civic initiative

Author: Lydian International

"Lydian International response to the Pan Armenian Environmental Front", 23 December 2016

We remain committed to constructive dialogue with all of our stakeholders and respect the right of the Pan Armenian Environmental Front (PAEF) to scrutinise our environmental and social performance...However, we are disappointed that PAEF refuses to engage in a serious manner with the work of independent experts who have categorically confirmed that water, dust and cyanide issues can be responsibly managed at the Amulsar project...We outlined the systems and processes that have been put in place to ensure responsible environmental stewardship in our earlier response to PAEF. These are set out in detail in our publicly-available environmental and social impact assessment (available here), which addresses many of the points set out in the PAEF paper and was prepared by independent experts in accordance with international standards...Water that has contact with the mine’s infrastructure will only be discharged if it has been treated and/or tested and found to be in compliance with Armenian standards. There will be an extensive water monitoring programme throughout the life cycle of the mine to ensure that the scenarios contemplated in the PAEF statement cannot occur.

 

Download the full document here

NGO rejoinder
11 January 2017

Rejoinder of Pan-Armenian Environmental Front (AEF) civil initiative to Lydian International’s response

Author: Pan-Armenian Environmental Front (AEF) civil initiative

“Responsible” Plunder of Nature: Problems Covered up by Lydian Regarding Exploitation of a Mine in Amulsar, 7 December 2016

...There is no need to prove that any mining activity, especially metal mining and processing, irreversibly damages nature and human health...Now let us eloborate on the serious unmanageable risks...Dust, filled with heavy and dangerous metals, will spread around with the wind to the neighboring areas and will pollute the air, soil, surface waters, meadows...Lydian states that 95% of the dust will not move further than adistance of 1000 meters; however international and local experiences prove the opposite...[R]egarding the usage of sodium cyanide for heap leaching. This method contains primary and secondary risks, which are often unmanageable and uncontrollable. Primary risks include fires in cyanide storehouses, accidents in technical structures, leaks of highly hazardous substances, natural disasters, terrorist and military actions, and other similar accidents with grave effects on people...Secondary risks have even more complex origins and their impacts may last forever...On our website we have numerously alerted of environmental as well as social risks of the Amulsar gold mining project. It does not comply with the standards of the very financial institutions who are giving the loan to this project (WB International Finance Corporaiton, EBRD), and  it is a pending question  why our complaints regarding this matter are not properly investigated by these institutions.  

Read the full post here

Company response
17 October 2016

Response by Lydian International

Author: Lydian International

Lydian International is concerned that the petition launched by the Pan Armenian Environmental Front in opposition to the Amulsar project is based on misleading information...Amulsar will be the first mine in Armenia to be designed, built and operated in accordance with modern international best practice standards. This commitment, which reflects Lydian’s values, is underpinned by the financing requirements of two of our shareholders, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) whose participation is conditional upon the project implementing strict environmental and social standards...We have conducted a thorough and extensive Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA)...The project has been designed to ensure that water sources will not be negatively impacted by our operations. All contact waters...will be managed according to the Contact Waters Management Plan to safeguard any and all surrounding water resources...Studies by local and international experts have also been carried out to show that possible impacts from noise, vibration and dust generated by the mine will be minimal due to the significant distance between the mine and the town of Jermuk (approximately 14km)...The ESIA also demonstrates that Lake Sevan, which is a precious national resource for Armenia and is located 40km from Amulsar, will not be impacted...Cyanide is used at gold mines in many countries...Cyanide does not pose significant risks provided rigorous management processes are in place. A cyanide management plan has been developed at Amulsar in line with the International Cyanide Management Code.

Download the full document here

Article
11 October 2016

Petition: "Stop Mining in Amulsar! Do not finance Lydian International!"

Author: Pan-Armenian Environmental Front Civic Initiative

Armenia’s illegitimate government, with direct support of private and international organizations that protect the interests of international capital, ignoring numerous alarms of citizens of Armenia, as well as their opposition and complaints, continues pushing forward a gold mining project...Within only 10 years “Lydian International” company registered in UK’s offshore Jersey island plans to...endanger water resources such as Vorotan-Arpa-Sevan water tunnel, the biggest fresh water reservoir of the region- Sevan Lake...as a result of acid mine drainage,...indirectly displace Gndevaz village, not far from which (just 1km away) the gold heap leach facility operating with toxic cyanide will be located on 120 hectares of land; as a result Armenia will be “presented” with 100 million tons of toxic waste rich with heavy and dangerous metals.

 

Read the full post here