17 Apr 2023 17:18

GeoProMining suspends operations at Armenian gold mine indefinitely due to shelling

YEREVAN. April 17 (Interfax) - Operations at the Sotk gold mine in eastern Armenia have been suspended indefinitely due to shelling by the Azerbaijani Armed Forces, GeoProMining Gold (GPM Gold), the company operating the mine, told Interfax.

"Since April 14, the Sotk mine has been periodically fired at, which has resulted in the operations of the enterprise being suspended for an indefinite period of time. Shots were also fired this morning. The enterprise is not operating," Ruzanna Grigoryan, head of GPM Gold's external policy and social strategies department, told Interfax.

The company has been recording shelling since April 11. Until now, operation of facilities at the mine was suspended only during shelling, but was then resumed.

The Sotk gold mine (also known as Zod) is located in Armenia's Gegharkunik region, near Azerbaijan's Kalbajar district. GPM Gold, a company controlled by GeoProMining, operates the mine.

The mine used to be located entirely in territory under Armenian control, but following the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh and the peace agreement, it was divided in two, and production at part of the mine was blocked. In late 2020, GPM said that it continued to operate in the Armenian part and process the ore that was mined there.

GeoProMining is a mining company with assets in Russia (gold and stibium extraction) and Armenia (gold, silver, copper, and molybdenum extraction). A Russian businessman, Roman Trotsenko, is the controlling shareholder of the company.