Gndevaz Villagers, Vayots Dzor Region, has made a sensational statement, while their village is considered to be the foothold in Amulsar open pit mining. Geoteam Company, which implements the Amulsar project (Geoteam is 100% owned by Lydian International offshore company) rehabilitated the kindergarten in the village, constructed an information center, hired labour force and promised to make the village prosperous. Gndevaz villagers were used to be thought as people not opposing to the will of the company and local administration. The delegations of the main investors – IFC, a part of WB, and EBRD visited Gndevaz, as well as the ambassadors of two countries, US and Great Britain. And now over 200 villagers signed a letter of complaint to the IFC Ombudsman’s office demanding to stop the funding of Amulsar project and the construction of a heap leach facility. The complaint says:’
to the Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO)
from Gndevaz Village residents, Vayots Dzor Region, Armenia
Taking into consideration the adversary hazards of open pit mining and heap leach plant, the local population as represented by Gndevaz Village, VayotsDzor region, the villagers are addressing the following complaint to the CAO.
We, Gndevaz villagers, have recorded the adversary consequences of the Amulsar mine geoprospecting many times:
- our agricultural products are realized in the market with difficulties,
- the cattle doesn’t eat the forage brought from Amulsar project affected area,
- the opinions against Amulsar mine development were not laid down in the minutes at the public hearings in Gndevaz,
- the heap leach plant, which is not compliant with international standards, in a distance of 2km will have its disastrous and lethal consequences both on the environment of Gndevaz and the population of Gndevaz,
We have already suffered while working at the mine, as we haven’t received proper medical aid and checkup.
‘Geoteam’ Company is manipulating Gndevaz villagers when it stated that the land areas of the villagers will be assessed at very high prices, and the villagers will be able to buy a flat in Yerevan and other areas in the country with the money they will get from the sale of their land areas and will be resettled.
Geoteam company takes any measure to deceive the population, including collecting the villagers’ ownership documents for land areas, as if for carrying out measurements, but it’s just cheating, and the purpose is evident.
During Amulsar mine development the explosions will result in spreading the dust of heavy metals over the lands, pastures and fields of the village, as well as over the residential area of the village. As independent experts assure, the radioactive background will also boost.
The violation of our rights is carried out with the sponsorship of IFC and EBRD. Geoteam company settles the issues in illegal manner, while the residents who are not going to leave Gndevaz or have to sell their land areas, become victims of these manipulations.
We, Gndevaz villagers having put our signatures here under, drastically oppose to Amulsar mine development and the construction of a heap leach facility in the area adjacent to Gndevaz Village. We are demanding from IFC to stop the funding of this illegal project, as it poses great hazards for the population of Gndevaz. We are demanding to take our opinion into consideration and not to violate our rights.’
The complaint is signed by 210 signatures. EcoLur has visited Gndevaz Village and will publish the interviews with villagers in upcoming days, Ecolur.org reports.