Point of View

The project of exploitation of Hrazdan iron mine will be changed but the environmentalists continue to worry


The employees of “Fortune Resources” company which has the permission to carry out research work in Hrazdan iron mine assure they haven’t caused damage to the nature with their work and are going to change their previous project which gave rise to environmentalists’ criticism.

To remind, Hrazdan iron mine is 1.5 km far from the city to the north-east. “Fortune Resources” company is the successor of “Nagin” LLC which was given a license to exploit the mine in 2008.

The environmentalists alarmed that it was written in the positive conclusion on the work project of previous “Mine of Hrazdan iron ore” that the exploitation of the open mine would cause some change to the surrounding landscape as carbon oxide, hydrocarbon, nitrogen oxide, sulfur gas will exhaust to air from internal combustion engines and boiler-house as well as dust from the open mine, roads, pile, external square, prior loosening of rock, activities of loading and unloading. The total quantity of harmful substances exhausted to the air will be 1448.5 tones per year of which the exhaustion of dust makes 27.0% and the exhaustion of cars and mechanisms makes 65.0%.

 “Forget about the old project, now we are going to make a new project which will not have those concerns and if the mine is exploited we will use modern technology” assures Gevorg Harutyunyan the responsible for media of “Fortune Resources” company.

The environmentalists do not think everything isn’t as ideal as the representatives of the company present. The company will exploit 2.5 million tones ore of which 5-6 percent will receive the government as a tax but an irreversible damage will be caused to the nature as the mine will be used by an open way anyway.

It is incomprehensible for Zhora Arakelyan the coordinator of “Aarhus” center of Hrazdan how the mine will be exploited without damaging drinking water if the water sources feeding Hrazdan, Tsakhkadzor, Charentsavan and Abovyan cities are in the area of the mine, these cities provide water to 30 percent of Yerevan totally to 300 thousand people.

“According to the previous project a hole of 270m deep must be dag as a result of which the sources of drinking water will disappear as they cannot be reconstructed” he says.

Arakelyan is concerned about the irrigation water as the river Hrazdan flows to Ararat valley and to provide cleaning work the cleaning station of “Qaghs” will be used which hasn’t worked for 20 years.

“The next problem is that the houses are near the mine at the distance of about 650m and that distance will become 200m because of the expanding of the mine in future. Besides there will be demolitions and the air pollution will exceed the permitted point for 2.5-6 times because of those factories functioning in Hrazdan” alarms Arakelyan.

The president of “The Union of Greens” Hakob Sanasaryan considers the exploitation of the mine inadmissible as the experience shows the exploiters of mine never take care of the tails created as a result of it, moreover, they adapt the legislation to it.

With this plan the tail is stipulated to be built in the landfill of Hradan which has been given to a Danish company for 11 years.

Suren Nersisyan the assistant in department of calculation, exploration and investigation of Geography and Geology minerals in Yerevan State University highlights the problem of open exploitation of mines mentioning that in the world practice a closed one is used.

The representatives of the company said that the closed exploitation of the mine would not be profitable and then added the other concerns did not correspond to reality.

The geologist of “Fortune Resources” Vladimir Harutyunyan said that 4000m wells had been dug till now 45 wells with 60-100m average depth.

“The walls of the well are always tight with pipes and they dug in a way that there could be no water there because of the geological conditions.  They circumvent the hill” says Harutyunyan.

To the question that the organization uses old soviet equipments Harutyunayan mentioned that only the engine was soviet and the works of demolition couldn’t hinder the environment as if one tone of saltpeter was exploded it wouldn’t cause an earthquake of 0.5 point.

The President of “Forests to Future Generations” NGO Movses Manukyan mentioned there was no such a practice in the world that the exploitation of the mine didn’t influence the water resources of the environment, besides it is not necessary to be a specialist to understand that the hill where the mines are located is in the bowl of Geghama mountains, Pambak and Tsaghkunyats mountains and the deep waters will not have place to flow and will be polluted.

Anyway, “Fortune Resources” still makes a plan which must go through environmental assessment and be proved by relevant state institutions. In case of passing this whole process the company will exploit the mine during 15-30years.

“The positive and negative aspects of exploitation of iron mine” discussion was organized by “The generation of Independence” NGO.

The photo of Hrazdan iron mine area by ecolur.org 

Author Կարինե Իոնեսյան
Source www.hra.am