Lydian International Limited (TSE:LYD) (OTCMKTS:LYDIF) responded Friday in regards to a conference call hosted by the Government of Armenia on Thursday to discuss an environmental audit of its Amulsar gold mine project, expressing "deep disappointment".
The firm noted that comments made by international consultancy group Earth Link & Advanced Resources Development (ELARD), which was tasked to review Lydian's environmental audit and related environmental impact assessments, were regrettable.
"During the conference call, ELARD made repeated references to ‘gaps’ or ‘deficiencies’ and a ‘lack of quality’ to the data and information made available to them during the audit. Although Lydian Armenia has stated from the outset that ELARD’s engagement by the Special Investigation Committee (SIC) was both unnecessary and unsupported under Armenian Law, the company cooperated fully with the SIC and ELARD in their investigation and development of their report," noted Lydian in a statement.
Amulsar is set to be a large-scale, low-cost operation with gold production targeted to average 225,000 ounces annually over an initial 10-year mine life, but the project is hampered by an illegal blockade from local protestors.
In a statement, Lydian noted its technical advisors provided the SIC and ELARD with direct access to all personnel and supporting information for more than three months, including over 300 reports representing over 20,000 pages of data and materials, developed over eight years relating to environmental aspects of the Amulsar project. The SIC has reported on multiple occasions that Lydian cooperated fully in connection with the audit.
"ELARD’S comments during yesterday’s call regarding available data appear to be about a ‘wish list’ of what they would have preferred to be able to review," noted Lydian. "When asked, ELARD did not give any reference to any industry standards that Lydian did not comply with."
Lydian noted its technical advisors have included international companies such as Wardell Armstrong International, Golder Associates, Environmental Resources Management, Global Resource Engineering, Treweek Environmental Consultants and others.
Lydian's Amulsar project has been subject to three full-scale environmental audits since July last year and has cooperated with all.
The Government of Armenia has stated that the restoration of the rights of the company to operate are dependent on the results of the audit conducted by ELARD.
Shares of Lydian were down 18.8% at C$0.10 on Friday.
Contact Katie Lewis at [email protected]