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2 Sep 2020

Ani Mejlumyan,
Eurasianet (USA)

Clashes continue in Armenia over gold mine, environmental impacts

Renewed clashes at Armenian gold mine highlight government indecision, 11 August 2020

Recent renewed conflicts over a controversial gold mine have highlighted the Armenian government’s continuing indecisiveness over the future of the project.

On August 4, clashes between activists, local residents, police, and mining company officials broke out at the entrance of the mine, near the eastern Armenian city of Jermuk. Officials from the company operating the mine, Lydian Armenia (the local subsidiary of a British mining firm), attempted to remove some cabins that had been set up by activists who have been protesting there since 2018, and to replace them with new cabins for company guards.

The activists complained that the guards, from a recently hired security company, had been behaving inappropriately. “They are armed, provoking people, swearing at them,” activist Themnine Yenokyan told the local service of RFE/RL. The protesters are demanding that the government cancel the project, which they say will badly damage the surrounding ecology and the water supply.