Information message in response of “Ecolur” press club’s request
- Are geotechnical works, laboratory tests are being implemented and what projects are being developed for the improvement works of stability of the Teghut tailings dam?
Improving the tailing dam or building tailings dams presumes a solution of a number of technical issues, including a comprehensive engineering design.
Typically, as the best internationally adopted practice, mining companies regularly carry out geotechnical investigations of the so-called “workability” of tailing dams subject to exploitation and under exploitation. “Teghut” CJSC (hereinafter “Company”) also carries out similar research on a regular basis, in conformity with the international standards of the field of production and especially environmental issues, involving international authoritative companies. As a result of the latest geotechnical survey, the Company has received data on some of the risks associated with the tailing dam. The received data were discussed with different field specialists to confirm once again the existence of the diagnosed risks. The reports made as a result of the Company’s surveys at the latter’s request were also provided to the State Authorities of the Republic of Armenia for recording and further supervision. At present, the company is going to involve an internationally recognized organization and conducts appropriate negotiations with potential executors for that purpose. Also, the technical task, timings and service values of the research to be carried out and other technical issues are being discussed. It is expected that the selected specialized organization will carry out extensive research studies, including deep geological and laboratory tests based on which, it will introduce the best way of providing a detailed technical solution in line with international standards.
Following the verification of the aforementioned results (including all necessary data), the Company will prepare the appropriate design (including construction) package based on the proposed technical solution in the manner prescribed by the Legislation of the Republic of Armenia.
- Is “Teghut” CJSC planning to build a new tailing dam ,if yes, please tell us where you plan to build a new tailing dam, how many hectares of land will be occupied, how many years will be required? Will there be timber felling for the new tailing dam?
First of all, in order to avoid further misunderstandings and misinterpretations, it should be noted that the matter relates not to the construction of a new tailing dam, but the tailing dam of the new site in the territory intended for the existing tailing dam. In other words, in any case, the matter cannot be concerned the increase of the sites intended for tailing dams, and the possible tree felling will be exclusively within the framework of the current deforestation program. In addition, the construction of a new tailing dam site is considered as a possible option (one of the options) and the viability of that option may be available after completing the research described in Paragraph 1 of this Answer and choosing the best option for solving the existing problems. In other words, the whole range of solutions is still under consideration and the final decision has not yet been made in favor of any option. Nevertheless, at the moment, it can be said that even if the tailing dam site construction is substantiated by an in-depth analysis, it is envisaged that the latter will be constructed in a part of the area intended for the existing tailing dam in the same gorge, slightly towards the current.
- What fate awaits the current tailing dam, if a new tailing dam is constructed?
Any option of the solution unconditionally suggests improvement of the stability of the existing tailing dam to meet the requirements for hydraulic and technical structures (including seismic safety) in accordance with the Legislation of the Republic of Armenia. At this point, it can be clearly stated that the reinforcement works of the existing tailing dam will be implemented.
- Please provide construction and exploitation plans of Teghut Mining and Processing Enterprise, as well as exploitation environmental management plans of Teghut Copper and Molybdenum Enterprise.
Within the framework of the mining ore extraction and enrichment process at the Teghut copper-molybdenum mine, the Company has consistently taken measures to continually improve the production processes, introduced the internationally-recognized practices and standards, in particular, for the introduction of industrial safety and labor protection, and especially for the introduction of environmental and management systems. In these processes, the Company has collaborated with a number of internationally-recognized organizations. As a result of 6-year continuous work, the Company’s activities have been recognized as compliant with ISO 14001: 2004 (Environmental Management Systems) and BS OHSAS 18001: 2007 (Industrial Safety and Occupational Health Management Systems), for which the Company was awarded with have appropriate certificates. We attach a plan-timetable of introduction of the unified management system, as well as the copy of ISO 14001: 2004 certification of environmental management systems in line with international standards.
- Does the Teghut tailing dam hold a security passport? If yes, please provide a copy and technical instructions for the exploitation of Teghut tailing dam.
In 2015 the Company developed and submitted a Technical Safety Certificate of Teghut Tailing Dam Enterprise as an industrial hazardous facility to the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Ministry of Emergency Situations of the Republic of Armenia based on which the tailing dam enterprise was registered in the Register of Hazardous Production Facilities.
As regards the technical instructions for the exploitation of the Teghut tailing dam, we inform that the tailing dam exploitation was carried out in accordance with the tailing dam exploitation technological project.
 The use of the term “workability” is based on three main principles: 1. Seismicity of the tailing dam 2. Sufficient capacity of the tailing dam according to the “life span” of mine exploitation. 3. Minimization of the risks of the negative impacts of the tailing dam environmental activities during the production process.