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Robert Carreau: Environmental Iron Man in Mining Industry

Robert Carreau, whose educational background is environmental studies, would never imagine that one day he would be working for a mining company and then move to a country, of which he had never heard before. Together with his wife the environmental scientist came to Armenia to work at Lydian Armenia’s Amulsar project  for two years now. 
 
With his education in environmental health 62-year-old Robert Carreau attaches special importance to healthy lifestyle and never misses a sport event even in Yerevan. Carreau has already participated in Ironman Triathlon for two times before and has taken part in half marathons in Yerevan.  

Mediamax talked to Lydian International Vice President for Sustainability Robert Carreau on the interaction of environment and mining industry, healthy lifestyle, specifics of living in Armenia, as well as important values in life and work. 

Education in environmental technologies and mining industry
 
I’m an outdoor enthusiast, somebody who likes the outdoors and nature, so protection of the environment seemed a good place to take my passion, my interests and put them into studies and eventually a job. 

Originally I didn’t anticipate working for a mining company. Usually environmental people are against mining companies, as it’s believed that mining companies negatively influence the environment. However, I went to work for a mining company in 1979, because I realized that I could be a part of the solution, part of the change that would make mining better. It was a time when we were just learning about the pollution and related subject, and I was able to bring some expertise in the sphere. 

Mining industry has significantly changed over the years. I never thought I would work for mining company, but once I got in I realized all the good aspects it brings, so I stayed.
 
Working with public and private sector

I have also worked with governmental structures, but I definitely prefer working in the private sector. For example, Lydian COO’s office is right next to mine and the Managing Director’s is two doors down. The three of us have enough authority to make changes in the company immediately, while in the government there is bureaucracy and other challenges at various levels. It’s more satisfying to be able to make a change when it’s required.

The most challenging environmental issues in mining today
 
Mining in the world has changed so much recently. One of the most challenging issues here is dealing with the legacy, the reputation from yesterday, because people remember what it used to be. 

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