YEREVAN (Reuters) — Anglo-American mining firm Lydian International on February 20 called on the Armenian government to help in solving a dispute with environmental protesters and to end their blockade of a gold mine.
The Amulsar gold mine, located in a remote mountainous region, has been in development by Lydian International since 2016, with an investment of nearly $500 million so far.
The company says the project meets all the legal and environmental requirements, and would generate hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars in tax revenues.
But a group of local residents and environmental activists have prevented access to the mine by blocking a road to the site since June 2018, putting pressure on the government to act in order to safeguard a major foreign investment.
“We call on the government of Armenia to take immediate action to address the continuing illegality around the Amulsar project,” Edward Sellers, the company’s interim president and CEO, said in a statement.
“The restoration of the rule of law will serve the interests of thousands of Armenian citizens, including community members, employees, contractors and suppliers, as well as thousands of investors who invested in Armenia in good faith and with the hope that their legal rights would be protected.”