previous page

Geoteam Welcomes IFC and EBRD Review of Amulsar Gold Project

Geoteam Welcomes IFC and EBRD Review of Amulsar Gold Project 

Geoteam worked with experts from the International Finance Corporation, part of the World Bank Group (IFC) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), who visited the Amulsar Gold Project area last week to perform their annual review of the project development. 

IFC and EBRD are both shareholders of Lydian International Limited - the parent company of Geoteam CJSC, which holds the exploration licenses of the Amulsar Gold Project in Armenia.

Both IFC and EBRD conduct annual supervision visits to assess the project's  environmental, social and technical components. 

Amulsar has concluded the exploration phase. After the final mining right is granted, and all environmental and social mitigation measures are in place, Geoteam plans to start construction of the mine in 2015. The initial capital investment according to the Feasibility Study will be $ 426 million.  

The IFC and the EBRD supervision teams consisted of environmental, social development, geology, and mining specialists. They held working meetings with Lydian and Geoteam, visited the Amulsar site, the community of Gndevaz as well as the town of Jermuk. They assessed the current exploration rehabilitation activities, social development projects, met with the community members, and took a site tour. 

Experts of international consultancies who had taken part in the mine design, the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment and other technical support also took part in the site visit. 

The company plans to disclose the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA), a requirement for international funding, in November 2014. The project feasibility study and ESIA will inform stakeholders and help them engage in more useful public discussions of the environmental and social considerations. 

“IFC supports a wide range of projects in different sectors that help create jobs and contribute to the growth of Armenia's economy,” said Karsten Fuelster, IFC Principal Investment Officer. “As part of that effort, we seek ways to foster a sustainable mining sector in Armenia. Once given permission to proceed, the Amulsar project, IFC’s only investment in this sector in Armenia, is expected to have many important economic benefits for the country, including generating revenue for the state and boosting employment in rural areas. IFC applies the highest environmental and social standards to its clients and the projects it finances, including the Amulsar project. One way we do this is through regular monitoring trips, like the one we concluded last week in Armenia. We will continue to closely monitor the project to make sure it complies with IFC standards throughout its implementation.” 

“The EBRD is committed to enhancing the economic development in the countries where it invests and the Amulsar project has the potential to have a positive impact on the region and the country. We are committed to ensure that our projects meet the highest standards of environmental and social performance. Visits such as this week’s play an important role in reaching this goal. We are encouraged by the stakeholder engagement and social and environmental works that have been performed by Lydian and Geoteam. The environmental and social impact assessment will be the next important step for the development of the project in line with international best practice. We look forward to reviewing the ESIA to determine whether it meets the requirements of our Environmental and Social Policy, and to be appraised of the outcomes of the extensive public consultations the company is planning following disclosure of the ESIA,” said Sam Walker, Senior Environmental Specialist at the EBRD. 

“Geoteam and Lydian management would like to thank IFC and the EBRD teams for the visit and reaffirm the Company’s’ commitment to meet all environmental and social standards and requirements set by the “Equator Principles” as well as IFC and EBRD environmental and social requirements.  Geoteam and Lydian will work towards ensuring that the Amulsar Gold Project becomes an exemplary mining operation in Armenia that benefits the country and the communities economically and sets a high standard for environmental management”, Hayk Aloyan, Managing Director of Geoteam stated.

When the construction of the mine starts in 2015, Amulsar will employ around 1,300 people at the peak. Around 770 people will be employed permanently during more than 10 years of planned mine life.