NGO chief: Armenia must obtain Azerbaijan's permission for cross-border mining activities

17:00 | 16.05.2024
NGO chief: Armenia must obtain Azerbaijan's permission for cross-border mining activities

NGO chief: Armenia must obtain Azerbaijan's permission for cross-border mining activities

It is the obligation of Armenia arising from the Espoo Convention to obtain permission from the state of Azerbaijan for the mining activities carried out in the transboundary areas, the Chairman of Azerbaijan Cartographers Public Union Mugabil Bayramov said at the presentation ceremony of the map of mineral raw material resources of the Republic of Armenia.

He drew attention to the geographic location of Armenia in the upper basin of the Kur and Araz rivers, which pass through the territory of Azerbaijan: "Mining activity of Armenia in the Pambak (Debed), Abaranchay, Zangichay, Vedichay, Arpachay, Mighrichay, Okchuchay and Bazarchay basins, which are the tributaries of the Kur and Araz rivers in the upper and middle, damages the ecology of Azerbaijan. "It is Armenia's obligation arising from the Espoo Convention to obtain a permit from the state of Azerbaijan for mining activities carried out in the transboundary area."

Sabit Baghirov, co-founder of the Environmental Protection First Coalition, chairman of the Entrepreneurship and Market Economy Development Assistance Fund, said during his speech at the event that, despite repeated calls, the Armenian government and foreign companies engaged in mining operations in this country are not aware of the work done by the Environmental Protection Agency. They do not submit Impact Assessment documents:

"We demand these documents to be made public. It is enough to see how the enterprises are located on the map called 'The mineral raw material resources of the Republic of Armenia' to understand the global scale of the problem."

Talat Kangarli, head of the Department of Dynamic Geology at the Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Doctor of Sciences in Geology and Mineralogy, Corresponding Member of ANAS, highly appreciated the cartographic work of the Azerbaijan Cartographers Public Union: "The monument is characterized by the wealth of material and is an important database."

According to Shahbaddin Musayev, advisor on geological issues to the Chairman of the Board of Directors of AzerGold CJSC, Doctor of Philosophy in Geology and Mineralogy, harmful chemical substances discharged from mining enterprises operating in the territory of Armenia through transboundary waters flow into the Caspian Sea through the Araz and Kur rivers. This further increases the scale of ecological consequences:

"The territory of the Republic of Armenia can be conventionally divided into 4 large ore-mining regions: Gajaran-Gafan, Mehri-Leyvaz, Zod-Sermuk/Amulsar, Alaverdi-Aghtala. It is enough to say that the annual processing capacity of the Gajaran field is 12.8 million tons of ore. Here, sulfur-containing wastes are a threat to the environment. In Gafan, the annual processing capacity is 50,000-65,000 ounces of gold. Here, flotation reagents are used as chemicals."

Amin Mammadov, Chairman of the Public Council under the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources, co-founder of the Environmental Protection First Coalition, deputy chairman of the Public Union Experts in the Field of Water Use requested that the Armenian government open the doors of the mining industry enterprises, which created an ecological and health crisis in the South Caucasus, for ecological monitoring: "We demand ecological justice for the South Caucasus region, Armenia should immediately stop the activities that damage the environment, and fulfill its obligations assumed under international conventions."

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