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Who has been paid to block Amulsar? — Lydian

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Lydian International, which has been bogged down by lengthy permitting delays in getting its Amulsar project to production, accused the Armenian government of playing sides in the dispute.

Earlier this month Lydian was cleared of wrongdoing in regards to a environmental audit, but the Armenian government decided to press on with more environmental reviews.

"The Government of Armenia has said publicly that Lydian and the Amulsar Project have been the subject of a campaign by rival mining companies providing support to opponents of the Amulsar Project," said the company in a news release.

"Armenian society has been dragged into an endless discussion around an audit which had no legal grounds to question Lydian's rights to operate in the first place. When will the Government of Armenia identify the rival mining companies conducting this campaign, how much has been paid to oppose the Amulsar Project and who has been paid?"

A recent roadblock to Lydian getting the project up has been an outside group, Earth Link & Advanced Resources Development, which has said Lydian's application is deficient.

Lydian pushed back on the group's findings.

"While Lydian welcomed ELARD’s rightful conclusion about the lack of impact on Lake Sevan and the Jermuk water source, yesterday’s regrettable performance by ELARD reveals more about an apparent lack of capacity to review and analyze complex details of more than 20,000 pages of professional studies provided to them by leading global experts than it does about Lydian or the Amulsar Project.

"The Government of Armenia had repeatedly stated that the restoration of the rights of the Company to operate were dependent on the results of an audit conducted by ELARD. While Lydian believes there was no legal ground for tying the Company’s ability to exercise its legal right to operate to any further audit, Lydian cooperated fully with 3 consecutive audits over the past year. No other mining company in Armenia has been required to undergo any such audit."

Lydian foresees Amulsar as a large-scale, low-cost operation with production targeted to average approximately 225,000 ounces annually over an initial 10-year mine life, said the company on its website. Estimated mineral resources contain 3.5 million measured and indicated gold ounces and 1.3 million inferred gold ounces as outlined in the Q1 2017 Technical Report.

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