As our car cut through the thick layer of smoke coming out of Alaverdy Copper Factory, I couldn’t help, but feel pity for the inhabitants of the mining town, who have to live with this for their entire lives.
Alaverdi, is a city situated in the northeast of the Armenian province of Lori, not far from the border with Georgia.
This mining and industrial city with approximately 16,500 inhabitants situated at the bottom of the Debed river gorge, is one of the commercial and industrial centres of the district.
During the Georgian rule over Alaverdi region, the Alaverdi Copper Smelter was founded in 1770, by the order of king Erekle II. At the end of the 19th century, the region was flourished even more through the new Russian and French investments in metallurgical business. In 1903, the amount of copper produced in Alaverdi region made around 13% of the total copper production in the Russian Empire.
During the Soviet rule, massive construction works were carried on in Alaverdi. The soviets made significant steps for the enlargement of the metallurgical industry in the region.
Recently, new plans were introduced for the expansion of copper production in Alaverdi Smelter and the development of new copper mines within the project “Armenian Copper”.
Currently, 500 workers and administrative staff are employed in the copper factory.
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