Is Amulsar a Uranium deposit?
Concealment of information on uranium deposits in Amulsar and its possible mining requires a legal assessment
Environmental issues almost always divide public opinion and the scientific community into two parts. One part always takes the side of protecting ecology and the environment, and the other argues that environmental, climate and environmental agreements are speculative in nature (not always unfounded). Obviously, any important decision regarding the environment should be made with a balance of interests. If humanity had preserved nature in its original form, then no progress could have been achieved, however, with its merciless extermination, humanity will inevitably destroy itself. The famous British scientist-futurologist Stephen Hawking predicted that “in the next thousand years, humanity will destroy itself.” According to the scientist, life on Earth will disappear due to nuclear war, the activities of artificial intelligence or genetically engineered virus.
Obviously, in all spheres of human life, there is a limit (the boundary of the rational), which determines the conditions for the preservation and further functioning of the system. However, in the modern world, economic interests and the political struggle for power completely deprive a person of a feeling of any limits and Reason.
So, after the change of power in the spring of 2018 (events are known as the “Velvet Revolution”), the events around the Amulsar field in Armenia received a wide public response. Independent ecologists, local residents and other concerned representatives of the nation are sounding the alarm about the inadmissibility of developing this field. Senior political leaders and other government agencies, in turn, report on investments that are so necessary for the development of the economy.
The development of the Amulsar field in Armenia is carried out by the previously unknown offshore company Lydian International, registered in Canada. Information about the ultimate beneficiaries and shareholders of the company, in this case, is of secondary importance, although not unimportant. The main interest, in this case, is that the present deposit is not gold ore, as it is declared not only by the company itself, but also by absolutely all the structures of the Government, but by the uranium-thorium ones. It is important to note that this also applies to a number of other deposits of Armenia, which are under development.
It is no secret that all geological exploration data on the reserves of natural resources, especially the “Class A” radioactive elements, are a state secret in all countries of the world and, accordingly, they are kept in secret archives with very limited access. However, from numerous open sources, it can be established that the Gromov expedition, which was carried out from 1952 to 1954, was the first major expedition under the plan for the industrial exploration of useful natural resources in the USSR. in the Republic of Armenia. It is assumed that it was during this expedition that uranium deposits and its reserves were explored.
So, after 55 years, namely in 2007, the first and currently the only scientific article with a detailed description of the estimated reserves of uranium and thorium in the Republic of Armenia appeared in the oldest Russian monthly scientific, technical and production journal “Mining Journal”. The Amulsar occurrence, with an estimated uranium reserve of 100 tons, is also indicated as one of the most promising uranium-thorium manifestations.
An article entitled “Resource Potential of Radioactive Raw Materials of Armenia and the Prospects for its Development”, authored by G.P. Doctor of Geological and Mineralogical Sciences Aloyan is also registered in the Russian scientific library eLibrary.
The analysis of this article requires special attention. Despite the fact that this is a scientific review article, it does not represent any interest from an analytical point of view, but reveals data on reserves and their location, which does not discredit its contents, but leads to certain thoughts. Obviously, the very purpose of the article was precisely the publication of stock data, but not the justification of any useful suggestions for science and production.
Thus, based on this article, one must initially proceed from the fact that the Amulsar deposit is primarily a uranium-thorium deposit. This statement is indirectly supported by the fact that in 2008 the Armenian-Russian mining company was set up for a geological exploration of uranium in the Republic of Armenia. According to the aforementioned article, the total volume of uranium in explored deposits in Armenia is 80-100 thousand tons. During the official visit of the head of Rosatom Sergey Kiriyenko to Armenia on September 9, 2008, he stated the following: “The fact that there is uranium in Armenia is obvious, we have different estimates of its volumes, it is said about 10 thousand and 30 thousand tons, and optimistic forecasts indicate 60 thousand tons. ”
Under the terms of the ARGK contract, uranium ore mined in Armenia was planned for export to Russia and further processing at the International Center for Uranium Enrichment – in Angarsk. According to official data presented on the website of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), at the end of 2013, the company was closed due to the fact that expectations were not met (quote: eng. Since it had not met with promising results).
So, the thesis of the speculative nature of environmental and environmental agreements mentioned at the beginning does not make any sense in this case, since the development of a uranium deposit in such a geographically small, though not densely populated territory of Armenia is fraught with environmental disaster with all the ensuing consequences not only for the local population but for the whole region.
Any production of radioactive substances is very harmful, and as the field develops, the overall radiation background of the region will definitely increase. The deeper the ore deposits, the stronger the gamma activity of radioactive substances. Uranium mining, in particular, refers to the heavy and harmful industry, which contributes to cancer. Uranium mined by SPV(underground borehole leaching), in other words, a large amount of sulfuric acid or other acids is poured into the well to dissolve ore minerals. With this method of extraction, the acid leaves the soil and mixes with groundwater. Under the immediate threat of becoming a “radioactive swamp”, an underground source of mineral waterfalls into the resort town of Jermuk, which is located about 10 km. from the field, as well as one of the largest alpine unique freshwater lakes in the world – Sevan.
According to the data of the American Institute of Energy and Environmental Research ( Engl. Institute for Energy and Environmental Research) uranium mutagenic, opuholegensin (cancer), teratogenic (deformity in the offspring), a cytotoxic (impact at the cellular level) and neurotoxic (effect on neurons and work nervous system) action.
Where did the gold come from?
The scientific article “Interrelation of Uranium, Gold, Silver, Mercury and Carbon” was published in the scientific “International Journal of Humanities and Natural Sciences” of the Institute of Geology and Nature Management of the Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences. The study found the relationship between uranium, thorium, gold, silver and mercury in ore formations. This fact extremely reliably answers the question posed about the origin of gold.
At the same time, if we assume that gold and not uranium will be mined in Amulsar, with reference to the low concentration in ore minerals, the reserves of available uranium will not disappear from this. From the doctor of geological and mineralogical sciences mentioned at the beginning of the article, G.P. Aloyan It has been known since 2007 that in the Amulsarskoye deposit “uranium content varies widely – from thousandths to 0.5% with an average content of 0.025-0.03% for the five most significant areas”. Minerals in which uranium is more than 0.1% (1 kg per 1000 kg of rock) are considered good ores. However, due to the deficit of uranium, as well as from international mining experience, it is known that uranium is extracted even from ore, in which its concentration is only 0.01%, and it is mined on an industrial scale (for example, in South Africa, at the Witwatersrand deposit, where The main purpose of ore processing is gold, and uranium as a by-product). According to some reports12% of uranium mined in the world is a by-product in gold and other mines. In the USA, for example, uranium is obtained from rocks with a concentration of 0.008% – from phosphorites of Florida, where the main mining is phosphorus and uranium.
Based on the foregoing, we obtain a logical connection between this analysis and the ongoing events around the Amulsar field. However, this analysis raises many rhetorical questions in the context of the political and economic events of the country.
Armen Sargsyan (former special and authorized ambassador of Armenia to the United Kingdom from 1998 to 2000), who was a member of the Lydian International board of directors for a short time before being elected (appointed) to the president, stated in an open interview on May 23, 2018that he does not have the right to disclose information regarding the management and other details regarding the activities of this company, since he gave a subscription on non-disclosure of corporate secrets. It is obvious that the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources of the Republic of Armenia holds a similar position, which took part in the previously mentioned Armenian-Russian mining company and objectively knows about uranium reserves in the Republic. At the same time, such reputable international structures such as the EBRD, the international financial corporation IFC, which is part of the World Bank, and the management of Ameriabank, which in the past was a former branch of the USSR Vneshtorgbank (VTB), are very ambiguous.
Analyzing the foregoing, we come to the confirmation of the thesis stated at the beginning that in the modern world, economic interests and the political struggle for power completely deprive a person of a feeling of any limits and Reason. At the same time, it can be stated with great certainty that all employees of Lydian International, which is registered in Armenia as “Geotim” CJSC, and later renamed to “Lidian Armenia” CJSC, producing director at the field, are doomed to radiation exposure with corresponding consequences.
A political analysis of the events in Armenia over the past year and a half allows us to draw obvious conclusions that the new government of Nikol Pashinyan, which was formed after the events organized in the spring of 2018, known as the Velvet Revolution, takes steps to complete the work begun by the previous cabinet, which they themselves did not dare (or were afraid) to complete for many years. With the enormous support of the people, in the first days of coming to power, the Pashinyan government hastily ratified the previously signed colonial agreement with the EU (CEPA agreement), which requires fundamental reforms in all areas of the life of society and the state, obliges to guarantee the protection of any investment with the provision of a national regime; allowed to begin development of the toxic Amulsar field; agreed to conduct secret laboratory tests of international pharmaceutical companies in the country,
It is worth noting that one of the parties to the Comprehensive Agreement between Armenia and the EU is also the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom), which requires the closure of nuclear power plants in Armenia. This is due to the shortage of uranium in the world, as reported in numerous scientific works of a prominent Russian specialist in nuclear physics and atomic energy Igor Ostretsov.
It seems that the concealment of information on uranium deposits in the Amulsar deposit and its possible production require a legal assessment. However, taking into account the political realities of today’s Armenia and the specifics of its judicial system, this seems unlikely.
Moscow, 09/06/2019, 02:08
Knyaz Baghdasaryan – economist, researcher of political processes, especially for the IA “Realist”