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Prime Minister of Armenia and US Ambassador visited Amulsar

On August 15, Prime Minister of Armenia Mr Hovik Abrahamyan, and U.S. Ambassador Richard M. Mills, Jr. visited Lydian International’s Amulsar project site. The Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Mr Yervand Zakharyan and the Governor of Vayots Dzor and the Mayor of Jermuk accompanied them. The Ambassador, Prime Minister, and Minister of Energy had the opportunity to tour the Amulsar Gold Project site with Mr. Hayk Aloyan, the General Manager of Geoteam CJSC, a fully owned subsidiary of Lydian International.

During the visit, Ambassador Mills emphasized that the opening of Amulsar mine will be an important economic opportunity for Armenia, and underscored the equal importance of ensuring that potential harm to the environment is minimized.  In this regard, Ambassador Mills mentioned that Lydian International is known for utilizing responsible mining practices that adhere to international environmental standards. Ambassador Mills expressed the hope that Lydian’s Amulsar project will become an example of responsible mining, which will show that it is possible to find a balance between economic and environmental interests.

Ambassador Mills warmly welcomed the Republic of Armenia’s recent decision to join the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (“EITI”).  The EITI is based on the principle of allowing the public to see and be confident that a country’s natural resources are extracted using the best methods and that the proceeds are appropriately shared.  The Ambassador concluded by emphasizing that, “the United States greatly values its deepening economic ties with Armenia and commends the Government of Armenia for the commitments it has made to improve the business environment”.

On August 16, Prime Minister and Ambassador visited also two social development projects undertaken by Geoteam, an arts center and a kindergarten that have been renovated in nearby Jermuk.  Ambassador Mills emphasized the benefit of corporate social responsibility, a Western corporate best practice in which companies seek to become truly involved in their local community and contribute to its betterment.

Mr. Aloyan emphasized that the Amulsar project is expected to become the largest foreign investment project in Armenia. “We expect to create around 1300 jobs during the construction period and 740 permanent jobs throughout the life of the mine. The project is estimated to secure over 480 million USD of budget revenues throughout the life of the mine. Another important aspect for us is that it is also an investment project representing the widest range of foreign investors in Armenia. Lydian International’s shareholders include IFC, the EBRD, and many large institutional investors based in North America and Europe.  We recently disclosed the first ever in Armenia Environmental and Social Impact Assessment in line with IFC and EBRD Performance Standards and Requirements, which is a solid foundation for a world-class environmental and social performance in a mining operation in Armenia”.

We look forward to ensuring that Amulsar brings the highest standards of industry best practice to Armenia, creating shared values with all stakeholders- the country, the communities and the shareholders.