In an interview on September 3, Levon Zurabyan noted that “the whole subsoil is given to Lydian for free” (32: 34-32: 42), which he described as corruption. In addition, according to the ANC Vice President, the contract “does not clearly state that only gold and silver can be removed”, it only mentions the quantity. (34։26-34:48)
In the end, Levon Zurabyan adds that the contract contains a paragraph that is straight out of a fantasy genre literature: “carry out reservation of newly discovered minerals in compliance with the procedure defined by the Government in case of not carrying out extraction thereof” (35:11-35:22)։ According to Zurabyan this is also a case of corruption.
The Fact Investigation Platform decided to compare the data and the allegations submitted by Levon Zurabyan with the points stipulated in the contract with Lydian.
About giving the whole subsoil to Lydian for “free”
According to paragraph 2.3 of the contract, “during the effectiveness of the Contract the profit received by the subsurface user as a result of the exploitation of the deposit shall be considered the property thereof.”
At first glance it might seem that there is a corruption factor underlying this wording, but the Lydian contract is drafted according to the “Exemplary Form of the Subsoil Mning Contract for the Extraction of Mineral Resources” adopted by the Government of the Republic of Armenia in 2012.
Therefore, as it is conceivable that the profit gained from the use of the mine becomes the property of the subsoil user, therefore it is simply a manipulation to consider this point of the contract contradictory or qualify it as corruption.
In addition, the above-mentioned exemplar sets out state duties and charges for subsoil usage, as well the charges for the monitoring aimed to ensure the safety and health of the population, which are also found in Paragraph 2 and 3 of Appendix 1 in the agreement with Lydian.
Part 1 of Annex No 1 deals with financial proposals for the extraction of minerals by the user. Accordingly, the total amount of investments for financial proposals amounts to 75,180,000,000 AMD. That is to say, Lydian must implement a certain investment program to operate the Amulsar mine, the state does not make a free donation.
About the Gold and the Silver
In the interview, Levon Zurabyan claimed that the contract does not specify that as a result of the mine, only gold and silver can be mined.
Paragraph 2.1 of the contract, however, stipulates that the Authorized Body (Ministry of Energy Infrastructures and Natural Resources of the Republic of Armenia) provides the Amulsar Gold Mine to the subsoil user for mineral wealth extraction for temporary disposal and utilization of 2600,0 thousand tonne of Mining Resources annually.
Godl- 52664 kg,
Silver – 210.51 ton
Gold 52664 kg Silver – 210.51 ton
The types of mineral resources (subtypes)
On the extraction of newly discovered minerals extraction
Levon Zurabyan found the paragraph on extraction of newly discovered minerals strange and described it as “taken from the genre of fantasy”.In accordance with paragraphs 3.4.15 and 3.4.16 of the contract, the subsoil user shall:
“Inform the Authorized body about discovery of accumulation of minerals not specified in the contract on mineral extraction within 14 days following the discovery thereof; carry out reservation of newly discovered minerals in compliance with the procedure defined by the Government in case of not carrying out extraction thereof”
It is incomprehensible why Levon Zurabyan views this point as a fantasy genre and presents it as a corruption risk, as the same requirement is laid down in paragraphs 14-15 of Article 59 (2) of the Code of Subsoil.
Thus, the problematic paragraphs of the contract between Lydian Armenia CJSC and Ministry of Energy Infrastructures and Natural Resources of the Republic of Armenia presented by Levon Zurabyan during the Inside Politics program are not problematic at all, but are defined by the RA Legislation and legal regulations. It is another matter that the Legislation of the Republic of Armenia is not perfect and contains corruption risks.