Referring to the inquiries of interested community on Teghout mining complex’s tailing dump safety as well as to the comment in mass media publications on “Vallex” group and its separate companies regarding this subject, we inform:
Along with the establishment and commissioning of Teghout mining complex, as a result of consistent actions of “Vallex” group, environmental, health protection and work safety management systems have been implemented in Teghout cjsc (hereinafter Company) in accordance with international ISO 14001:2004 (environmental) and OHSAS 18001:2007 (health protection and work safety) standards. Compliance of the Company activity with the requirements to these standards was certified on September 5, 2017, by TÜV (Germany), a specialized and internationally recognized organization in this field.
Within the framework of the requirements of the above mentioned management systems implemented in the Company, in October-November 2017, the Company initiated study and evaluation on seismic and static stability of the dam, involving for this internationally recognized specialized organizations, such as British In Situ Site Investigation Services (www.insitusi.com), American Global Resource Engineering (www.global-resource-eng.com) and Australian ATC Williams (www.atcwilliams.com). The conclusions of the involved organizations fixed, that without tailings dam stability level increase and seismic and static stability ensuring, the further exploitation of Teghout mining processing plant would cause a real danger of dam self-collapse. Therefore, urgent steps should be taken towards the ensuring the stability and safety of Teghout mining processing plant.
It should be noted, that in-depth study of the provided conclusions shows, that the work necessity of tailing dam safety ensuring can’t be reduced as a result of the temporary suspension of tailing operation. According to the conclusions provided, the tailing dam stability risks will not be reduced substantially, even in case of operation of the plant with significantly lower productivity.
Fully realizing, that financing VTB bank (hereinafter Bank) may not assess the situation objectively, and “Vallex” group can lose the mining complex created by decades of efforts, we still considered the health and safety of the population of the region as a priority and from January 12, 2018, suspended the ore processing and enrichment in the mining complex, parallely implementing maintenance works on the existing production capacities, plant equipment, equipment and property saving and its functionality ensuring.
We constantly and promptly informed the Bank about the problems associated with the tailing dump, and about the inevitable termination and resumption preconditions of Teghout mining complex operations. In another letter addressed to the Bank, on July 23, 2018, “Vallex” group companies once again expressed interest in resuming ore extraction at Teghout mining complex, emphasizing, that this can be done only in compliance with the requirements of technical and environmental international standards. The same letter also was introducing the necessary steps, which will ensure safe re-operation and long-term operation of the Teghout mining complex, minimizing the above mentioned risks.
Unfortunately, the Bank did not objectively assess the identified real risk, as a result of which “Vallex” group lost the control on Teghout mining complex owned by the Company, at the same time appearing in various legal disputes with the Bank.
Taking into consideration, that the issue concerns to the life and health safety of the population of a number of communities in RA Lori region, in order to maintain a consistent records and future control ensuring in July, 2018, the Company by official letters informed the authorized bodies of RA Government (ministries of Nature Protection, Emergency and ex-ministry of Energy and Natural Resources), providing the copies of all the reports from the all specialized organizations involved. All the above reports and documents related to the tailing dump stability, together with other documents related to the Company’s activity, have been duly provided also to the new management of the Company which was appointed by the Bank.
Being aware, that the Company, on behalf of the current shareholders and the executive body, actually restarted the commissioning of Teghout mining complex, we declare once again, that “Vallex” group currently has no control and/or influence over this complex and cannot be responsible for its consequences in any way in case of possible self-collapse of the tailing dam or in case of another adverse situation causing.
Mass media and PR department of “Vallex” group companies