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Lydian announces independent expert panel to monitor activities

Lydian is pleased to announce the formation of an Independent Advisory Panel comprising Armenian and international environmental and social performance experts. The role of the seven member Panel is to monitor the Amulsar project, located in the Republic of Armenia, to ensure it fulfils its commitment to operate to best international sustainable mining practices. The Panel will be Chaired by internationally-respected responsible mining and conflict resolution expert Dr John Harker.

The Panel members will convene regularly to monitor progress and to provide objective and authoritative advice on a range of sustainable development issues including environmental management; social management and public health; water management; biodiversity; waste and cyanide management; socio-economic development; governance; and human rights.

The Panel will have direct access to the Company’s Chief Executive and will be empowered to:

•  Critically appraise the social, environmental and human rights impacts of the Amulsar project and Lydian’s plans and programmes to manage these impacts;
•  Scrutinise and provide advice on means to strengthen the Company’s stakeholder engagement activities; and
•  Monitor and report on the implementation of international best practice standards.

The Panel will interact directly with stakeholders of the Amulsar mine and will produce an annual public report on its activities.

All members will be serving on the Panel in a personal capacity. The Panel make-up is as follows:

•  Dr. John Harker (Chair) is a leading international expert on responsible mining and multi-stakeholder processes. Dr. Harker was most recently President and Vice Chancellor of Cape Breton University in Canada. In 1999/2000 he was asked by the Government of Canada to review whether the presence and conduct of the country’s then largest oil company was exacerbating the Sudanese civil war. He previously worked for the International Labour Organisation and advised President Nelson Mandela on the creation of a National Development Agency in South Africa. In 2007-8, he chaired an Independent Review Panel of experts at Cerrejón in Colombia, South America’s largest coal mining operation.
•  Dr. Hayk Akarmazyan is an Armenian environmental expert. He has a PhD in Environmental Chemistry and he is currently an Associate Professor at the National Polytechnic University of Armenia, where he lectures on environmental management and environmental economics.
•  Dr. Haroutune Armenian is an internationally respected public health expert. He is a Professor in Residence of epidemiology at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, and Professor Emeritus at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He is also President Emeritus and former President of the American University of Armenia (AUA).
•  Jon Hobbs is a leading international environmental professional. He recently served as WWF’s (World Wide Fund for Nature) International Director on Extractives having previously served in a similar role with the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development. He is also former Chair of the OECD's Environmental Professionals Network (Environet) and the Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals, Metals and Sustainable Development. He has contributed to the development of numerous international initiatives around responsible mining.
•  Alisa Savadyan is an Armenian social and environmental impact specialist, and environmental lawyer. She provides advice on rural development, water management and waste management projects financed by the World Bank, USAID, the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
•  Elisa Tonda is a leading environmental expert who has worked in the private sector and has served for 15 years in various agencies within the United Nations. She is also a Board Member of the International Cyanide Management Institute (ICMI) which oversees the implementation of the International Cyanide Management Code.
•  Luc Zandvliet is a socio-economic expert, with particular expertise in advising mining companies on stakeholder engagement, grievance management and prevention, and social investment strategies. He is co-author of the leading book for social performance practitioners ‘Getting it Right Making Corporate-Community Relations Work’.

 

Dr John Harker, Chairman of the Panel commented: “Our Panel is comprised of independent minded people fully able to look at complex situations and fashion clear advice. With it, the responsible progress which mining can offer, and Armenia needs, can be embraced with confidence. We are looking forward to the challenge.”

Howard Stevenson, Chief Executive of Lydian International commented: “Lydian is committed to developing and operating the Amulsar mine in accordance with internationally respected best practice standards. We have been leading exponents of Armenia’s adoption of the EITI, we are committed to good international industry practices in all aspects of our operations, and will be implementing the International Cyanide Management Code. The establishment of an Independent Advisory Panel to objectively exercise oversight of our performance is a voluntary initiative that we committed to as part of our Environmental and Social Impact Assessment. We look forward to a positive and constructive relationship with the Panel, as we work together to maximise benefits for all project stakeholders.”

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