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US expert: Development of Amulsar mine pollutes fresh-water resources in Caucasus

09 August 2020 [13:41] - TODAY.AZ

By Trend

The Anglo-American Lydian International firm, as the business entity engaged in gold extraction, is causing a tremendous environmental contamination to the fresh-water resources in the Caucasus and depleting the natural resources of Armenian agriculture, soil, and subsoil, Peter M. Tase, the US expert in European and Latin American politics, told Trend.

"The people of Armenia have been condemned with the harmful toxic waste left behind from the companies that are extracting gold in their backyard, meanwhile government officials and politicians are growing wealthy thanks to the briberies received from a number companies engaged in mining (gold extraction) activities. This identical practice is also present in other countries and regions such as South America and Africa, where the environment is highly vulnerable, fresh water resources become scarce and local politicians suddenly open bank accounts in countries that are a fiscal paradise and favor money laundering schemes," noted Tase.

"Armenia is heavily dependent on Agriculture and pollution originated by mining companies is detrimental to its national economy and Gross Domestic Production," Tase stressed.

"Mining enterprises negatively affect the deposition rate of soil particles. What is considered fundamental is the fact that open cut mining removes the rare minerals closest to the surface which are easiest to extract, but also exposes to erosion, the largest area of the underlying soil," emphasized the expert.

"The unloading of 'soil residues’ can form unvegetated hills that are a source of leachate and sediments, which may end up in waterways. Alluvial mining typically occurs on floodplain terraces, these sediment-filled ponds may reduce re-establishment of vegetation, alter river channels, and expose soils to erosion," he said.

"Gold mining decreases water clarity and reduces visibility for water animals and fish seeking food and places to live. Mining damages fish gills (breathing apparatus under water) and destroy filter feeding apparatus of invertebrates," the expert said.

"The mining activities in Armenia’s Amulsar must be shot down immediately and Armenian government should explore other venues that ensure sustainable economic development, withdraw its armed forces from sovereign territory of Azerbaijan is the first step for Armenia to become an industrialized and economically sustainable nation," Tase stressed.


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