Government reviews international expert group’s Amulsar-related findings
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A Cabinet meeting was held today, chaired by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan.
Prior to discussing the agenda, the Premier advised that the day before yesterday the Government received Elard international expert group’s findings on Amulsar Mine, which will come under close examination in the near future.
Presenting Elard’s findings, Investigation Committee Chairman Hayk Grigoryan noted that the following three most important points could be singled out after a preliminary analysis:
1. There is no connection between Amulsar groundwater and the thermal springs in Jermuk.
2. There is no connection between Amulsar groundwater and the Sevan Lake basin. However, in the event of an earthquake, some concentration of acidic drainage could penetrate the Sevan Lake basin through the Spandarian-Kechut Reservoir, but the combination of this concentration in the overall volume of Sevan Lake basin will be insignificant.
3. There is some probability of Amulsar groundwater’s eventual impact on the Darb, Vorotan, Arpa Rivers, though the risks will be manageable if Lydian CJSC undertakes 16 mitigation measures as proposed by the Expert Group.
The Chairman of the Investigative Committee further noted that Lydian CJSC took notice of said findings yesterday, but the company was involved as a party and worked with Elard’s experts prior to the probe.
“Lydian’s experts stand ready to implement 15 of the 16 proposed mitigation measures. 10 are already underway; the remaining 5 will be carried out in the not so distant future. One of the proposed measures is still under discussion, because to get money from the World Bank, Lydian’s operations must comply with the IFC performance standard, which states that mitigation measures will have to be pursued over the next 100 years following the exploitation of the mine.
Elard’s experts suggest complying with the Nevada standard, which provides for the use of mitigation measures over the next 500 years. In fact, Lydian is prepared to apply mitigation measures for more than 100 years, should the need arise,” he said.
Nikol Pashinyan said government members will take note of the document and come to a conclusion. With reference to the criminal proceedings, the Chairman of the Investigation Committee noted that the analysis of the findings shows that there is no reason to prosecute anyone at this stage.
In response to Prime Minister Pashinyan’s question on the termination of the criminal case, Haik Grigoryan said as follows: “We are working on the relevant decision. At this point, there is no reason for bringing criminal charges against anyone.”
The Government passed appropriate decisions to provide adequate medical care and services to detainees and convicts. The decisions are aimed at clarifying the scope and content of medical care and services provided to inmates.
The Executive made a decision to provide rehabilitation assistance to people with disabilities and other social groups. Assistance provided on the basis of state certificates will allow the beneficiaries to choose and get the support most suited to their needs.
Due to the drastic increase in applications, the funds envisaged under the 2019 State budget law have been exhausted, and there is a need to increase the amount of budget allocations through redistribution in order to earmark 71,328 thousand drams for 1253 extra devices.
In this connection, Prime Minister Pashinyan pointed out that as amended last year the assistance procedure has fostered citizens’ interest in the program, which allows its beneficiaries to get devices tailored to their individual needs on the market. “This means that the proposed tool meets the needs of real people,” the Premier emphasized.