On January 12 Larry Breckenridge, registered professional engineer and international independent expert, presented details of the environmental management of the Amulsar project at the Ministry of Nature Protection of Armenia. Minister Artsvik Minasyan, Deputy Minister Erik Grigoryan and the experts of the Ministry participated in the meeting. Mr. Breckenridge explained that all risks at Amulsar are manageable and that the project is being developed in line with good modern industry practice.
During the 3 hour meeting, all questions of concern around Amulsar were discussed, including the public concerns around lake Sevan, impact on water resources, and acid rock drainage (ARD) management. Mr. Breckenridge explained that ARD occurs naturally and is a common issue in many gold, silver or copper mining projects. Nevertheless, modern mining has the experience and means to manage the problem.
In case of Amulsar, the risk of ARD is milder than in many other mining projects that are successfully controlling ARD. This is due to certain project specifics, such as fully-oxidized ore and the fact that only a portion of the barren rock is potentially-acid generating. The detailed ARD management plan, that is a result of over seven years of extensive research on Amulsar, was presented. It ensures reliable protection of all surrounding water resources.
The study determined that there is no significant water quality impact from the Amulsar project. This due to active pollution-prevention measures, state-of-the art water treatment, and the fact that mining-impacted water will be consumed by operations. Mr. Breckenridge presented some successful examples of similar ARD management in mining projects in the US that use the same technology that Amulsar will employ.
The expert discussion was planned to be held between Lydian representatives and the authors of recent public reports criticizing the Amulsar project. However, despite a previously-expressed willingness, the authors of the reports refused to participate at the expert meeting. Armen Saghatelyan, the Director of the Ecological and Noosphere Studies Center was the only project critic that came to the meeting, however, he chose to leave at the start of the meeting, with no participation.
Larry Breckenridge is an expert with the US-based Global Resource Engineering. He is a Qualified Person (QP) under Canadian legislation. This status allows him to provide a legally binding opinion for feasibility studies and other documents required under the Securities Exchange Commission. Mr. Breckenridge has more than 20 years of experience in mining environmental management internationally and is an author of many technical articles. He is one of the many internationally recognized qualified experts involved in the design and implementation of the environmental management of the Amulsar mine.