On April 19, MP from Prosperous Armenia Sergey Bagratyan asked Artur Javadyan, Chairman of the Central Bank, whether Armenia has gold reserves, and, if so, what steps are being taken to restore them. The CB Chairman replied that we do not have gold reserves yet, but the gold foundry will be ready next year, and Armenia will have bank gold.
Fact Investigation Platform revealed that Artur Javadyan had given the same promise 3.5 years ago.
In November 2015, MP from Rule of Law Party Hovhannes Margaryan asked CB Chairman Artur Javadyan whether Armenia had recovered gold reserves in international reserves. The CB Chairman responded: “At the moment we do not have gold reserves, but we have the goal. We have already finished the negotiations with a very serious Swiss company doing refining works, which will invest in Armenia. The design works are about to finish, and the plant construction will start shortly. The location has been specified, the company has been specified. At the end of next year, we will be able to produce bank gold, do refining, and this will allow our gold mining industry not to move low concentration gold abroad, but instead sell it to the factory and get bank gold.”
In fact, on June 19, Javadyan gave a similar answer to the same question asked 3.5 years ago.
“We have been working with a reputed Swiss company for already 2 years, and we are now at the last chords and very soon a gold refining factory will be opened in Armenia where gold will be produced, and our gold producers will have the opportunity to transfer the concentrate to this plant and receive a bank gold bar, or sell it to the plant. And we will have the opportunity to buy gold from the market in the Armenian currency. I think that next year we will have that opportunity. Everything is ready, the equipment too… The factory’s preliminary location has been selected.”
Thus, a question arises. What Swiss company were they conducting negotiations with in 2015, especially in the context of alleged little time left for the opening of the factory?
Hence, we can state that the relevant promise made in 2015 has not been fulfilled. As for the latest promise, time will show.
It should be reminded that in 2003 the Central Bank sold all the gold reserves, providing the following justification, “As the income from gold accounts fluctuated at zero level, at the same time interest rates for liquid and high-rated assets were considerably higher, it was decided to sell it and invest in the above-mentioned assets.” Thus, Armenia sold its gold reserves (1.3 tons) for $ 17 million.