Lydian Armenia CJSC (“Lydian Armenia”) has received formal notification from the Investigative Committee of the Republic of Armenia that pursuant to the criminal investigation into alleged withholding of information by employees of the Ministry of Environmental Protection, an international consultancy group, Earth Link, and Advanced Resources Development (“ELARD”) has been selected to review all subject matter covered by Lydian’s EIA/ESIA, to determine the possibility of harmful impacts by the Amulsar Project and the validity of preventative and mitigation measures, Lydian International said in a press release.
However the contract award to ELARD is subject to state funding and therefore the audit start date has not yet been announced. The audit is expected to take up to 12 weeks to complete.
The following terms of reference were given to ELARD:
– Water resources impact assessment.
– Geology impact assessment.
– Biodiversity impact assessment.
– Air quality impact assessment.
– Unprejudiced clarification of technical issues raised by the decision to commission a complex expert examination.
“Lydian is confident that the audit will conclude that the EIA/ESIA documents are valid and could serve as a blueprint for future projects in Armenia. In anticipation of this investigation, Lydian completed the Hydrogeological Survey, a study of regional water resources to expand on work carried out in 2013. The Hydrogeological Survey concluded there was no hydrogeological connectivity between the water regime at the Amulsar Project and the groundwater of Jermuk”, Lydian International said.
Twenty-five samples were collected from specific sampling points in the Amulsar and Jermuk areas. The samples were collected in the presence of agency representatives of the government of the Republic of Armenia, according to Lydian International.
Lydian’s samples were analyzed by an internationally accredited laboratory (ALS (Czech Republic)) and the data was interpreted by Golder Associates’ (U.K.) principal hydrogeologist whose conclusion stated the following:
“The chemistry of the waters of the Jermuk thermal springs and minerals water boreholes is characteristic of hydrothermal waters based on their major and minor ion chemistry and environmental isotopic characteristics. The hydrothermal waters have an enriched d13C signature, along with clear differentiation with respect to d180 and d2H, d34S, 87Sr/86Sr and gross alpha and beta activity, which is clearly distinct from the surface water and shallow groundwater sampled and consistent with a separate flow regime of hydrothermal origin. This water type is not similar to groundwater encountered in the vicinity of Amulsar mountain and supports the conclusion that the groundwater system of Amulsar mountain is a distinct hydrogeological system to the Jermuk hydrothermal system. In summary, based on the data and analysis of the groundwater regime presented in the 2016 ESIA for the Amulsar Gold Project, combined with the major ion and isotope data presented in this memorandum it may be concluded that the Jermuk thermal mineral water system is not in hydraulic connection with shallow groundwater and surface water on the Amulsar mountain”, Lydian International reported. (Armenpress/Ukrainian metal)