President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan visited the Teghut copper and molybdenum mine in the framework of his visit to Lori region on Saturday.
President of Vallex Group Valery Mejlumyan told journalists that the mine will be launched by the end of this year. At the initial stage, the operator company, Teghut CJSC, will extract some 7mln tons of ore. During the first 14 years, the average output will be 63 tons of 32% copper concentrate and 960 tons of 50% molybdenum concentrate.
At the initial stage Teghut will receive $350mln in investments. Instead it will produce copper and molybdenum concentrates worth a total of $200mln a year.
Mejlumyan pointed out that during the first six months the company will undergo ISO 14000 and OHSAS 18001 certifications.
He said that Teghut also has a project to plant 714 h of woods instead of 375 h to be cut for the mine. "The company also gives top priority to protecting the cultural-historical monuments situated in the nearby areas," Mejlumyan said.
The company has an agreement with the Archeology and Ethnography Institute of the National Academy of Sciences of Armenia allowing the latter to carry out excavations and other studies in the territory of the mine and to control the evaluation and protection of possible finds.
A recent archeological expedition in Teghut has discovered several ancient monuments dating back to the Bronze Age. The archeologists have also found a medieval village with a melting house, which means that the mine was already used in the Middle Age.
Teghut CJSC was set up on May 22 2006 by Vallex Group. 100% of its shares belong to Teghut Investments Limited, a Cyprus-based company whose sole owner is Valery Mejlumyan's Armenian Copper Programme. Teghut is the second biggest cooper and molybdenum mine in Syunik after Kajaran. As of 1991 its approved reserves totaled 450mln tons, including 1.6mln tons of 0.355% copper and 99,000 tons of 0.022% molybdenum. The program to develop the mine was approved by the Armenian Government in Nov 2007.