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Teghut deposit causes Georgian green activists' concern.
Nino Chkhobadze, ex-Minister of Ecology of Georgia, Co-Chairperson of the Greens Movement of Georgia/Friends of the Earth Georgia, told ArmInfo that any open pit development of a deposit increases the risks of pollution of the water resources. Teghut may have the fate of Marneuli deposit, which is seriously contaminated, she said. According to Chkhobadze, for many years the environmentalists have recommended using the water of the river Mashaveri for irrigation and many experts say that this has caused a real environmental disaster in Georgia. She said that the resource-saving technology should be used when developing the Teghut deposit and it should be aimed at preserving the water resources.
The expert pointed out the importance of taking measures on elaboration and introduction of the sustainable development principles. She added that the Greens Movement of Georgia/Friends of the Earth Georgia joins the Georgian and Armenian NGOs, which demand that their governments should take measures to protect the environment against any possible negative impact of the Teghut project.
To recall, in December 2010 the environmentalists and green activists of the two countries made a joint statement saying that if the toxic substances penetrate into the ecosystem during the development of the Teghut deposit, irreparable damage may be caused not only to Armenia, but also to Georgia, as the waste will penetrate into the transboundary river Debed. The Georgian NGOs also expressed their concern over the fact that the project has been elaborated without due regard for the transboundary impact of the process.
In the meantime, Vallex Group says that the development of the Teghut deposit will be carried out by means of up-to-date technologies, which will allow minimizing the negative impact on the ecology of the adjacent areas, and the trnasboundary impact is absolutely excluded. In addition, the company continues its program of forest planting. At present, nearly 75 ha of forest has been felled, and at the same time trees have been planted on over 220 ha. The total package of Vallex Group's investments in the Teghut project will be more than $320 mln.
To note, the project on development of the Teghut copper-molybdenum deposit was approved by the Government of Armenia in November 2007. The deposit will be launched in 2014.