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Armenian Human Rights Defender Karen Andreasyan's report on the Nature Protection Ministry's activity for 2012 said that the problem of licensing Teghout CJSC, which develops the copper-molybdenum deposit in Teghout, is not resolved.
Vallex Group (which also includes Teghout CJSC) told ArmInfo that the provisions on development of the Teghout copper-molybdenum deposit, reflected in the Armenian Human Rights Defender's Office's report on the Armenian Nature Protection Ministry's activity in 2012 cannot be considered true. The company said that in 2012 the Nature Protection Ministry could not provide Teghout CJSC with the relevant license, as since 2008 this issue has been under jurisdiction of the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources, and the Human Rights Defender's Office should have been aware of that. "We reiterate that Teghout is and was
carrying out its activity in any sphere only after getting the relevant legal platform", Vallex Group said.
The company welcomes the style of work of the Ombudsman's Office, which takes into account the views of the civil society when conducting surveys. Nevertheless, in order to present the real picture, it should have made some rational analysis and conducted additional surveys, the lack of which led to emergence of the annual report's provisions that have nothing to do with the reality. The company considers that the Ombudsman's Office should present the
information to the public and state structures in compliance with the law, and the information should be competently formulated and edited.
In response to Vallex Group's comments, Anna Safaryan, Ombudsman's Advisor for Environmental protection, said on March 18 that the specified provision of the report is justified by the fact that in 2006 Teghout CJSC was licensed with violation of standards and now the company carries out activities on a project that failed to undergo expert examination, and the environmentalists have repeatedly stated it and the Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee confirmed
it. Safaryan added that the Committee has fixed that the license for development of Teghout deposit was provided with violation of the Convention.
Safaryan said that the Committee for the Protection of Teghout told the Ombudsman that now the deposit is being developed under the new project worked out in 2010, which has not undergone any examination. In this connection, the Nature Protection Ministry must conduct the relevant inspections, but no response has been received from the Ministry so far.
Vallex Group has responded to this statements as well. The company says that Safaryan's statements have nothing to do with the reality. "In 2006 no license or permit was provided to Teghout CJSC at all", the company says. As regards the development of the deposit under the new project worked out in 2010, Vallex Group says that "as early as on 19 Dec 2012 the company disseminated full clarification via the media and posted it on its official website
(http://teghout.am/am/news/51.htm), so, further speculation on this topic seems strange at least".