Lydian wins water permit, calls on Armenia govt to help end blockade

The Amulsar gold project is located in the mountainous south of Armenia. The area is home to several endangered animal species. (Image courtesy of Lydian International)

Lydian International, which delisted from the TSX earlier this month, has been granted a water permit by Armenia’s ministry of environment for the company’s Amulsar gold project, but illegal blockades continue to prevent construction from resuming.

Lydian applied to draw water at a lower flow rate, which is estimated to be enough to support completing construction of the project

The company had previously sought permission to draw water from the Arpa River on two prior occasions with higher level flow rates (in excess of 40 l/s) to support long term operations, both of which were denied by the ministry. 

In late December, Lydian applied to draw water at a lower flow rate, which is estimated to be enough to support completing construction of the project. The permit allows the company to draw water at a rate of 11 l/s.

In regards to resolving the dispute with environmental protesters and ending the blockade at the gold mine, the company has called on the Armenian government to take “immediate action.”

The controversial mine, located in a remote mountainous region, has been in development since 2016 with nearly $500 million invested so far. However, a group of local residents and environmental activists have been preventing access to the mine since June 2018, putting pressure on the government.

The company believes its project meets all the legal and environmental requirements and would generate hundreds of jobs and millions in tax revenue.

Unlike a number of previous mining projects in Armenia, Almusar has been subject to rigorous inspections from an independent advisory panel.

The group of experts has also also confirmed that Lydian has proceeded according to Armenia’s laws and regulations.

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