On Monday September 30, CATAPA will have the honor to receive Armenian activist Anna Shahnazaryan, from the Armenian Environmental Front.
Anna Shahnazaryan is part of the Save Amulsar campaign, which for years has been opposing the Amulsar gold mine by Lydian International.
The Amulsar mine is the second largest gold deposit in Armenia. It is located 13 km from the town of Jermuk and between the rivers Arpa and Vorotan.
In 2012, Lydian Armenia, subsidiary of Lydian International, signed an agreement with the former government on the development of the mine and received the right to operate.
Protests against the mine’s exploitation had begun long before that. Residents of surrounding settlements and environmentalists claimed that it could have a negative impact on the environment of Jermuk, Lake Sevan and several nearby rivers. A group called “Jermuk will not become a mine” was formed, and in 2018 they achieved the suspension of gold mining operations.
In the same year, the Investigative Committee of Armenia opened a case looking into whether the mine was harming the environment. On August 14 they concluded that the exploitation of the mine will not harm the environment, while environmentalists still beg to differ.
This environmental protest is growing into a national political issue as activists claim that the government is turning a blind eye to what they say is a problematic gold mine near Jermuk in order to avoid litigation with the company that has mining rights in the area.
Anna Shahnazaryan is travelling to Belgium to have conversations with EU lobby groups. Yet she has managed to clear her schedule a bit to come to our office and tell us more about the campaign and the fight.
Don’t miss out on the chance to meet her and listen to this interesting and of present relevance story! Some drinks and snacks will be provided.
See you there!