Lydian International Ltd (TSE:LYD) (OTCMKTS:LYDIF) released an update Friday on the criminal investigations against illegal blockaders at its Amulsar project, located in south-central Armenia.
In a statement Friday, the Toronto-headquartered group noted that it learned today, that on July 18, 2019 the Republic of Armenia Cassation Court declined an appeal submitted by the Deputy Prosecutor General of the Republic of Armenia from court orders requiring authorities to initiate criminal investigations in respect of the actions of the protesters at Lydian's Amulsar project.
The firm also noted that the prosecutor's office of the Republic of Armenia, Vayots Dzor Province, initiated criminal proceedings on August 14, 2019 in respect of the actions of the protesters that had set up the illegal blockades.
Lydian has been involved in legal actions in Armenia related to the protests since July 2018, when illegal blockades were set up by protestors, preventing access to the project. At the time, Lydian filed a complaint with the Jermuk Unit of the Vayots Dzor Police Department to initiate a criminal investigation.
The police denied the request, and Lydian applied to the Ararat and Vayots Dzor Region General Jurisdiction Court in September 2018 for a reversal of the police decision. In January 2019, the court rules in Lydian's favour, noting the police had failed to initiate a criminal case.
The Vayots Dzor Prosecutor appealed the initial court’s ruling. In April 2019, the Criminal Court of Appeal of the Republic of Armenia rejected that appeal, but the deputy prosecutor general appealed to the Cassation Court of Armenia (Armenia's highest court), which dismissed the appeal on July 18, 2019.
As a result of the Cassation Court’s ruling, the prosecutor is compelled to initiate a criminal investigation under the articles of hooliganism and arrogation of the Armenian criminal code in respect of the actions of the protesters that had set up the illegal blockades.
In a statement, the firm noted that in all three appeals, Armenian courts have supported Lydian’s position.
Amulsar is expected to be a large-scale operation with annual gold production averaging around 225,000 ounces over a 10-year mine life.
Shares of Lydian International were up 7.1% at C$0.15 on Friday.
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