Recently, the Fact Investigation Platform published an investigation showing how a number of people fighting against the operation of the Amulsar mine are linked with the Zangezur Copper and Molybdenum Combine.
According to that publication, the Kajaran Combine financed the “Public Diplomacy” charity NGO owned by the wife of the former governor of Syunik, once director of the combine Vahe Hakobyan, which actively covered the demonstrations against the operation of Amulsar through PARA TV news outlet it created, some employees were even constantly in the frontline of the movement.”
In view of all this, we inquired from the ZCMC company how much money the combine donated to this organization each year, when did the funding start, how much was allocated each year, was the funding stopped and if so, then why?
In response to our inquiry, ZCMC provided us with some information that does not contain a trade secret.
According to that, the Kajaran combine has started financing the “Public Diplomacy” NGO since 2016. That year, the company provided grants of AMD 410 million to the NGO. In 2017, 2018 and 2019, ZCMC transferred grants of AMD435 million, AMD 385 million and AMD 455 million to this organization, respectively. That is, according to the information available in open sources, in 2016-2019 ZCMC transferred to “Public Diplomacy” NGO total grants of AMD 1 billion 685 million or at the average exchange rate of those years – about USD 3.5 million.
The company refused to provide the information after 2019 stating that they are part of the contracts concluded under the previous owners, according to clause 6.5 of which, the terms of the contract and other information related to its execution are a trade secret and are not subject to publication. In other words, the company provided only the information that was published on the website of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative.
As for the continuity of funding, the company informed that the new owners have decided not to finance “Public Diplomacy” NGO any longer.
“The scope of activities of the “Public Diplomacy” charity NGO is out of the scope of the revised social policy standards and corporate social liability policy requirements of the Company, and at the moment there is no valid contract between ZCMC CJSC and “Public Diplomacy” organization,” reads the answer.
Unlike “Public Diplomacy” NGO, the new management of ZCMC will continue to fund other organizations. One of them is the ” RA Syunik Region Development and Investment Fund.”
The combine continues to finance this fund even after the change of management as “the new management considers that the activities and goals of the fund aimed at the development of the Syunik communities affected by ZCMC are in line with the company’s social liability policy.”
The company’s response to us also states that “RA Syunik Region Development and Investment Fund is an institutional organization managed by the Syunik Regional Administration.”
Thus, let us state that after the change of management followed by certain changes in the social liability policy of ZCMC, the list of organizations financed by the latter and the amount of funding were also revised.
Let us remind that in 2021, the subsidiary of “Geomining Armenia” company, “Industrial Company” which had acquired 60% of the shares of ZCMC, donated 25% of the company’s shares to the RA government. In other words, the government owns 15% of the total capital of the Combine. The owner of “Industrial Company” is Russian billionaire Roman Trotsenko.