Residents Protest Against Cyanic Plant Construction



On April 6, residents of Meghradzor village of Armenia’s Kotayk
province will be staging a protest rally in Meghradzor against the
construction of Meghradzor Gold cyanide foundry.

The residents were angered by the reports that the Ministry of Nature
Protection is going to approve the cyanide production project. They
claim that if implemented the project will become another reason for
the increase of emigration from the village.

Inga Zarafyan, President of ‘EcoLur’ NGO, Hakob Sanasaryan, President
of the Greens Union, and Greta Gabrielyan, President of the Ecological
Academy “NGO, will attend the protest.

In January 2013, new civic initiative group “NO to Cyanide in
Meghradzor” issued a statement in which it said, “Meghradzor mine
already contaminates the village. The company speaks only about
gold mining. But they never speak that the ore contains mercury,
lead, arsenic, bismuth, besides gold and silver, i.e. the most toxic
elements. On the internet we read articles that arsenic causes lung
cancer, lead causes cancer of kidney, stomach, intestine, it destroys
liver, teeth and causes abnormalities in fetus development. Mercury
causes mental retardation, infertility of both women and men. And now
the company contaminates the village dumping wastes, which contain
these toxic metals into the territory of the village. If the plant
is constructed, the volume of wastes will increase and the existing
risks for Meghradzor will boost many times. But the project wasn’t even
sent to the Health Ministry, though according to Article 5 of RA Law
“On Environmental Impact Expert Assessment”, assessment of the impact
on health is mandatory. After several years Meghradzor mine will be
closed down, the company will leave, while Meghradzor-Hanqavan resort
zone will turn into a dead zone, which will lead to mass migration.”

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