When asked by this reporter what steps were being taken to investigate reoccurring accidents at the Zangezour Copper-Molybdenum Plant in Kajaran, Minister of the Environment Aram Harutyunyan responded that the ministry follows up on all types of mishaps and prosecutes those responsible.
I spoke to Minister Harutyunyan at a government-backed conference on mining being held today and tomorrow in Yerevan.
Harutyunyan urged reporters to inform his ministry of any mining related accidents in the future, assuring them that the cases would be reviewed.
The minister said he couldn’t remember, however, the fines levied against the Zangezour Plant for illegal dumping tailings into the local Voghji River.
In fact, the Syunik Environmental Inspectorate appraised the damage caused by the 2012 illegal discharges at 400,000 AMD.
In September 2013, the Zangezour Plant was again found responsible for another accident in which tailings flowed into the Norashenik River, causing one million AMD in environmental damage.
In December 2013, an accident at a mine owned by Zangezour Plant Director Maksim Hakobyan resulted in a tailings discharge into a river flowing through a water source for the town of Kapan.