What is the state of mining in Armenia? How should foreign investors view this country? I’ll spend some time reviewing some recent developments in the country and formulate a view.
- Gained independence in 1991
- Had been governed by Serzh Sargsyan since 2007 as part of the right-wing
- Serzh Sargsyan was reelected for a fourth term in April 2018, peaceful protests started which were concerned about what was starting to look like an indefinite rule
- Serzh steps down and the leader of the Civil Contract Party is elected (Nikol Pashinyan)
It would be impossible to look at Armenia without investigating the state of affairs with Lydian. Lydian received approval to build the project (Amulsar) in 2014 but construction has been impacted by local protests.
In August, Armenia’s inspectorate for Natural
The inspectorate stated that new ecological factors should be considered for the property. Specifically, there are new sightings of red plants and animal species.
But get this, so the head (Artur Grigoryan) of the Environmental and Mining Inspection agency directs Lydian to refrain from any mining activities until the ministry can conclude if these new “red plants” are actually at the site. So Grigoryan sends in his team. The team concludes that these new organisms cannot live at this site and are not there. Lydian appeals the original directive, but the appeal is heard by Grigoryan. Obviously, he rejects the appeal which is predicated on information from his own ministry. So now Lydian has challenged Grigoryan’s position through an administrative court. The court has accepted the appeal which suspends Grigoryan’s edict. Great! It doesn’t matter though because the place is still blockaded.
It’s pretty amazing that a country with 16.8% unemployment is
Seems to me that Armenia is not a jurisdiction you want to be developing a project in.