Thursday, 6 July 2017

Armenian New.... A Topalian... Shelling of Nagorno-Karabakh

I hate to sound vengeful, keeping submissive or even respectful of those who wrong one is no way forward. So much of the sentiment goes without mutual regard, this is a matter of defending one's lands... We are told and think of this situation as our  honour for our country and for the people who live and work on the land, Armenian Land!... We have been moved off our lands before, Never Again!...


Sputnik, Russia
July 4 2017
Azerbaijan Reports Casualties in Armenian Shelling of Nagorno-Karabakh

Iliya Pitalev
The Armenian armed forces opened fire on Tuesday at the settlements on the contact line in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region, there are killed and wounded, Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry said.

BAKU (Sputnik) — The Armenian armed forces opened fire on Tuesday at the settlements on the contact line in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region, there are killed and wounded, Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry said.

"At this time, shelling is taking place on settlements near the village of Alkhanly in the Fizulinsky district. The shelling is carried out by artillery, there are killed and wounded among the villagers," the ministry said in a statement.

According to the ministry, the Azerbaijani Armed Forces are taking retaliatory measures.

The ministry said that the attack claimed lives of two civilians, including a two-year-old girl, while a woman, 52, was taken to hospital with injuries.

The ministry added that the shelling was reported to the relevant international bodies.

Meanwhile, the defense ministry of unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh republic said that it had opened fire at targets near Alkhanly in retaliation to an attack by Azerbaijani forces' multiple rocket launcher. The ministry added that Nagorno-Karabakh forces had destroyed Azerbaijan's firing positions.

Azerbaijan's Armenian-dominated region of Nagorno-Karabakh proclaimed its independence in 1991, triggering a military conflict that led to Azerbaijan losing control over the region. The violence between Azerbaijani and Nagorno-Karabakh forces escalated on April 2, 2016, leading to multiple casualties. The sides agreed to a ceasefire on April 5, but clashes have continued.

Armenpress News Agency, Armenia
July 3, 2017
'For Hrant, for justice' - Dink's friends again gather outside Istanbul court

The trial over Agos editor-in-chief Hrant Dink’s murder is resuming on July 3, 
Agos reports.

Prior to the court hearings, Dink’s friends again gathered outside the
court to reaffirm their demand for justice.

Bulent Aydin made a statement on behalf of the gathered stating: “This
trial launched on July 2, 2007, 10 years before. However, till now the
real perpetrators of this crime have not been convicted. The trial
starts again. The demand for justice continues. We live in an era when
the justice demand is increasing throughout Turkey”.

Aydin said they will continue following the process of trial.

They were holding ‘For Hrant, for justice’ posters.

Ethnic Armenian lawmaker of Turkey’s parliament Garo Paylan was also
among Dink’s friends.

Hrant Dink was murdered on January 19, 2007 outside the Agos office in
Istanbul, Turkey.

Vestnik Kavkaza
July 4 2017
Armenian agriculture ministry forecasts poor grape crops this year 

Armenia’s agriculture ministry forecasts poor grape crops in 2017, the country's agriculture minister Ignati Araqelyan said.

He noted that the poor crop was caused by natural disasters – hail, frost etc, which have stricken hard especially at vineyards and apple gardens.

The situation barred farmers from carrying out the necessary season job in 2017, and this means that grape crops will be poor also the next year.

Araqelyan said that the problem solution will be a long-lasting process. The minister pointed out agricultural insurance as one of the ways to solve the problem.

“We already have a signed agreement, and in 2018 we, jointly with KfW Bank will launch a pilot project, and its successful implementation will allow us to apply the system all over the country,” ARKA cited him as saying.

RFE/RL Report
Armenian Government To Tap Vital Lake For Emergency Irrigation
July 4, 2017
Astghik Bedevian

Ignoring serious concerns voiced by environmentalists, the Armenian
parliament allowed the government on Tuesday to significantly increase
this year the amount of water from Lake Sevan used for irrigation.

The vast mountainous lake, which is vital for Armenia's entire
ecosystem, is a key source of irrigation water supplied to the
fruit-growing Ararat Valley west and south of Yerevan through the
Hrazdan river flowing out of it. It also fuels the country's second
most important hydroelectric complex built along the river in Soviet

An Armenian law allows the government to use no more than 170 million
cubic meters of Sevan's water annually for irrigation and power
generation purposes. The government asked the National Assembly to
raise that cap by 100 million cubic meters for the current irrigation
season, citing decreased rainfall in 2017.

Presenting a relevant bill to lawmakers, the head of the State
Committee on Water Resources, Arsen Harutiunian, said that around
130,000 farmers are now risking serious water shortages that could
have devastating consequences for their crops.

Armenia's leading environment protection groups are strongly opposed
to the urgent measure sought by the government. They say that it would
reverse a more than decade-long rise in Sevan's water level seen as
critical for saving its endangered ecosystem.

Significantly, the Armenian Ministry of Environment Protection has
added its voice to these concerns, formally objecting to the proposed
additional use of the lake's water. It estimates that Sevan's level
would fall by 8 centimeters as a result.

"[The government plans] will have an impact on the ecosystem,"
admitted Harutiunian. "But the problem which we are highlighting is
much more important," he said, referring to the struggling
agricultural sector.

Harutiunian also argued that Sevan's level rose by 16 centimeters in
2015 and another 18 centimeters last year mainly because of water
pumped into the lake from other rivers through two underground
canals. The lake will therefore have more water than it did in 2016
even after the emergency irrigation supply, the official said before
the parliament approved the bill in the first reading.

Only three deputies, all of them representing the opposition Yelk
alliance, voted against the measure. One of them, Lena Nazarian, said
that instead of seeking a heavier use of Sevan's water the government
should have cut back on a continuing waste of irrigation water. She
said that the irrigation networks remain highly inefficient despite
large amounts of budgetary funds that have been allocated in recent
years for their rehabilitation.

Harutiunian acknowledged that as much as 55 percent of irrigation
water is lost before reaching farmers.

ARKA, Armenia
July 4 2017
Construction of Vedi reservoir in Armenia will be completed ahead of schedule 

YEREVAN, July 4. /ARKA/. The construction of a water reservoir in Armenia’s Vedi will be completed ahead of schedule, the chairman of the State Water Committee Arsen Harutyunyan told the parliament Tuesday.

The construction of the reservoir, able to store about 30 million cubic meters of irrigation water and worth 90 million euros started in late March 2017. It will accumulate free streams of two rivers -Vedi and Khosrov. Two dams will be built for the reservoir with a basin area of 120 hectares.

Harutyunyan said when the construction is over, the amount of water released for irrigation from Lake Sevan will be cut by 18 million cubic meters. He said also the State Water Committee is developing a number of projects for the construction of local reservoirs with a volume of no more than 1-2 million cubic meters, which will allow solving local irrigation problems.

The money for the construction of the reservoir comes form the French Development Agency (75 million loan) with the co-financing of the Armenian government. The loan is to be repaid within 20 years. It is provided with a six-year grace period and at an interest rate that can not be higher than 6.25% and less than 0.25%.

The project when completed will alleviate the problem of water shortage in the Ararat Valley and allow the transition from mechanical to the gravity irrigation system, which, in turn, will result in saving of electricity.

The project of the reservoir was developed by the French Artelia Eau & Environment and Belgian Sher Ingenieurs-Conseils in cooperation with Jrtuk LLC. The construction is carried out by the Armenian company Sahakyanshin and the Iranian consortium Pega Construction. The construction of the dam and auxiliary infrastructures, which started in March 2017, is scheduled to be completed in March 2021.

Proactive Investors UK
July 4 2017
Lydian International forging ahead to realise Armenia's largest gold mine 

The group is aiming for first gold production in mid-2018....
Lydian International forging ahead to realise Armenia's largest gold mine

Lydian's project is set to be a game-changer for Armenia

Lydian International Inc ( TSE:LYD ) is well underway in the construction phase of its giant Amulsar mine, which will be Armenia's largest gold mine.

As of the end of May this year, its committed spend had totalled $213mln, which was 58% of the initial capital.

Now it has a first advance from its loan with Orion and Resource Capital Fund of $25mln with a second $25mln due by August 15 this year.

The group is aiming for first gold production in mid-2018.

The cost of the project was estimated at US$369.9 million, so is well on its way What is Amulsar...?

Amulsar was discovered by Lydian a decade ago on a geology road trip and lies 170km south of Armenia's capital Yerevan on the border between the provinces of Vayots Dzor and Sunnik.

The Amulsar licenses cover an area of 65 sq km.

Local infrastructure is good. There is a paved highway some 4km to the south of the project available to the town of Jermuk and high tension power lines pass along the main road and electricity is charged at $0.06/kWh

Water is available from the Vorotan River and the Spandaryan reservoir, 3km east and 8km south east respectively. Putting the pieces together....

Access roads are now complete, while work is also complete on the adsorption desorption refining (ADR) plant platform, the construction warehouse platform, and the heap leach facility (HLF) temporary sediment dam.

Machinery giant Caterpillar ( NYSE:CAT ) has been ahead of schedule in producing the primary mine mobile equipment, and initial deliveries are expected to begin in late July.

The mining fleet for Amulsar will include 19 Caterpillar 789D 180-tonne-capacity haul trucks, one 994 front-end loader and two 6040 hydraulic shovels. A training simulator has been purchased to train operators.

Still to come this year is delivery to site and assembly of the mine mobile fleet and the hiring and training of staff for mine operations and the processing plant Set to become Armenia's largest gold mine..

In February this year, the group's mineral resource and reserve was upgraded, with a 16% lift to the higher confidence measured and indicated category.

This was lifted by 19.8 million tonnes to 142.2 million tonnes - a 16% increase while notably the same gold grade was maintained.

The mineral reserve estimate was lifted by 184,000 contained gold ounces to 2.606mln contained gold ounces, which was an increase of 8%.

Lydian has said it expects mining production will reach 25mln tonnes of material during the first year of the operation.

Gold output, beginning in 2018, is targeted to average greater than 200,000 ounces per year over an initial 10 year mine life.

Amulsar is a large scale, low cost, technically simple open pit project, where the all-in-sustaining-costs are US$585 an ounce and the recovery on the leach pad is put at 87%. Experienced mine builder as COO..

In May, the company hired seasoned executive Andrew Kaczmarek as chief operating officer

He has spent his career building and operating mines in ten countries, the firm noted.

Most recently, he was independent technical adviser to Alacer Gold Corp and Midway Gold Corp , interim chief operating officer for Aurcana Corp and chief operating officer of Victoria Gold Corp .

At Alacer, he was responsible for building the Copler gold mine in east-central Turkey, and as vice-president of development for Kinross Gold responsible for engineering and construction for the re-opening of the Refugio mine in Chile.

Lydian shares are changing hands at $0.045.

ArmBanks, Armenia
July 4 2017
Fitch expands cooperation with Armenian banks
YEREVAN, July 4. /ARKA/. Fitch Ratings expects the number of issuers in Armenia to grow, Dmitry Surkov, the regional head of the rating agency for Russia, the CIS and the Black Sea region, told reporters in Yerevan today. He said Fitch publishes now three ratings of Armenian banks and is negotiating with several banks to include them in its local portfolio.

According to Surkov, the credit rating helps countries, above all, attract financing. A credit rating is recognition of the issuer by international investors, he said.

Late last month Fitch Ratings affirmed the long-term issuer default ratings (IDR) of Armenia in foreign and national currency at "B +" level. The outlook is "Stable".

"Armenia attracted financing through Eurobonds. Rating is an indicator for investors in terms of the creditworthiness of the borrower, so it is necessary to maintain the rating throughout the bond circulation period," he said.

Surkov noted that for 18 months the credit rating of Armenia will be stable. In addition, he stressed the importance of assigning a rating to the Armenian capital Yerevan.

"Armenia’s profile of a borrower, a participant of international capital markets has grown very much after awarding the rating to Yerevan, since the capital is a showcase of the country," he stressed.

Dmitry Surkov noted that Fitch Ratings has the largest portfolio in the region in Georgia. According to him, since 2009, most of the new issues of Eurobonds were carried out with Fitch Ratings.

"Fitch conducts a fairly deep analysis of companies and sectors of the economy, which is highly valued by investors. Fitch was recognized as the best rating agent for emerging markets by Capital Markets magazine," he concluded. 

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