The Armenian government has approved a large copper-molybdenum mine in Northern Armenia.
The allocated land for the Teghut mining project is 3,684 hectares—almost 1,000 hectares of which is old growth, virgin forest.
As a result of resource extraction, one of the forested mountains will be replaced by a 600-meter deep pit.
Teghut forest is home to 6 species of flora and 29 species of fauna listed as endangered in the Red Book of Armenia.
Contrary to national and international laws, an independent environmental impact assessment has not been conducted and the public has not been adequately consulted about the project.
Already, the neighboring villages cannot fish in the Shenogh River, the water of which has become so polluted that all water fauna has become extinct.
Village folks cannot continue with beekeeping, with growing vegetables, with gathering berries in the forest, because the toxic dust from mining operations (such as mine explosions, the building of the rock processing plant, etc.), settles on surfaces (blankets all vegetation and slowly kills the plants, including the remaining trees of the forest).
It’s possible that after 25 years of mining at Teghut, six thousand hectares of forest will disappear.
According to the mining plan, the mine will have an open-pit, several hundred meters deep and about 300 hectares wide, where one of the mountains of Teghut is currently located.
In the end, there will be 290 million tons of overburden and waste rock and about 173 million tons of mine-tailings dumped all over the ground (forest floor, village community lands, river valleys and riverbeds, pastures, etc.).
Already, many orchards in the proximity of the mine are destroyed, and fertile land from villagers has been usurped for the purpose of mining.