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Acid rock drainage at Amulsar will be controlled and will not negatively impact water quality

The primary method of modern management of acid rock drainage is prevention of pollution, Larry Breckenridge, expert from the US Global Resource Engineering, QP under Canadian legislation told in an interview to ARMENPRESS. The expert commented on the rumors of negative impacts of the Amulsar Gold mine in Armenia.

- What is acid rock drainage and is it an issue that is specific to Amulsar only?

- Acid rock drainage is a natural process that occurs in certain rocks. Specific types of minerals (sulfides) produce acid if they come into contact with water and oxygen.Mining exacerbates this process as it exposes the rock to contact with water and oxygen. This is a common issue in many mining projects all over the world. It is not specific to gold production, nor Armenia, nor Amulsar. There are many acid rock drainage control methods that we use in modern mining to manage the problem. These methods have been proven successfully in mines elsewhere. Unfortunately, previously, mining worldwide hasn’t done a good job in managing acid rock drainage which created a bad reputation for mining. However, today in most countries it is a legal obligation for mining companies to use modern mitigation measures to control acid rock drainage. It is also a requirement of lending institutions. The banks that have invested in Lydian require that Amulsar manage and control acid rock drainage. In my 20 years of experience, I have managed acid rock drainage risk in many projects world-wide.

- However, the recently published reports comissioned by a diasporan critic H. Bronozian pictured a worrisome perspective that acid rock drainage will impact all water resources around Amulsar. Is this s legitimate concern?

- In fact, modern, well managed mining projects all over the world successfully use techologies that we will use at Amulsar to protect water and soil around the project. It is possible to operate and close a gold mine without negative impacts from acid rock drainage. The technologies used today are very efficient. As I said, several decades ago mining industry had not been implementing any measures to prevent and manage acid rock drainageand this lack of attention resulted in long-term environmental issues in many mine sites worldwide. As a result,people’s concerns are understandable. However, experts that are up to date with modern mining environmental management methods know that there are effective scientific solutions to the issue of acid rock drainage. Modern mitigation measures are based on a pollutionprevention approach which is better for the environment. And this is the approach Lydian has chosen to implement at Amulsar.

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