by Arthur Yernjakyan
Potential annual gold exports from the Amulsar field in the southeast of Armenia are estimated at $200mln-250mln, Armenia's Economy Minister Karen Tchshmarityan told journalists on Tuesday.
He said that this is a very big program, with almost $300mln- 350mln invested and 1,500 people involved.
The preliminary estimates say that Amulsar has almost 5mln ounces of gold.
Geoteam has been prospecting the field since 2006. This is the only gold field discovered in Armenia after the collapse of the Soviet Union. The only shareholder of Geoteam is Lydian International, which has agreed with two strategic investors, the IFC and the EBRD to sell 4,731,000 ordinary shares worth 4.731mln Canadian dollars.
The IFC and EBRD bought the shares for 1 Canadian dollar per share. The EBRD bought 3,000,000 shares, the IFC 1,731,000 shares. As a result, they have 8% each in Lydian International's capital. According to Tchshmarityan, GPM Gold from GeoProMining Group has quite serious potential in Armenia. Recently it launched a modern recovery plant based on the Albion technology. As a result, in 2015 it expects to produce 120,000-130,000 ounces against 50,000 in 2013.