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Amulsar Independent Advisory Panel Released Its First Report

The Amulsar Independent Advisory Panel, consisting of seven Armenian and international sustainability experts, released its first annual report in Yerevan today.

The Panel was established in 2017 with a remit to monitor the social and environmental performance of the Amulsar project, to engage with the project sponsor Lydian International and with the project’s local and national stakeholders, and to hold the project accountable for the delivery of the commitments which it has made to adhere to international best practice principles. 

This is the third occasion on which the Panel has been convened in Armenia, to engage with representatives of government, local government leaders, community representatives, NGOs, academics, technical experts and business and union representatives. The report is available on the Panel’s website at www.amulsarpanel.com.

Whilst recognising that in some areas the Amulsar project goes beyond what are normal environmental or social practices in the Armenian mining sector, the report makes 19 recommendations on areas where Lydian could strengthen its performance. 

The Panel has found that Lydian has made some ambitious commitments to operate to high social and environmental standards and is, in its actions, largely displaying a determination to deliver against them. In particular, the company’s work on biodiversity during the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process, its engagement with local communities and its commitment to transparency seem to the Panel to demonstrate a strong commitment to sustainability and to a high standard of mining practice. 

It notes however, that some stakeholders continue to have concerns about the environmental and social impacts of mining. Concerns about Amulsar have centred on its potential impacts on water, including the potential for acidic discharge (‘acid rock drainage’) and the planned use of cyanide. As construction has ramped up, local debate has focussed increasingly on job expectations and procurement opportunities, together with concerns about dust.

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