Alaverdi: money and poison

Alaverdy Copper Factory breathes poisonous gases into the mining town, 21Mar2011

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.

Check out the video on Twitpic.

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7 thoughts on “Alaverdi: money and poison

  1. Reading the history, it seems that the copper mine has been operating to benefit foreigners during its life while the Armenian people lose this valuable metal and the population of Alaverdi suffers from the air pollution.

    It’s interesting to know, is the mine currently owned by the Armenian people/government or does it belong to some foreign corporation?

    • No my friend, it is owned by an Armenian guy with Russian citizenship, by a company registered in Liechtenstein.

      The guy is well tied to Armenian Government, basically he is an oligarch. Although the guy is indeed intelligent and differs from other Armenian oligarchs, but he is a businessman, and we all know that if you are a businessman you care about business more than about any other consequence it may bring.

  2. I’m sick of all those fake foreign Armenians abusing our sacred lands!! Enough is enough we should put an end to those thieves

  3. This factory is the worst I’ve seen with my own eyes; not only is it outdated and obvious to the nose and eyes nowhere near up to an environmental standard, but it sits in a narrow valley in the middle of a small city. Unlike Vanadzor, for instance, the atmosphere is trapped in this narrow gorge without possibility of it clearing, so the residents breathe it continuously. Here’s a picture of this decrepit plant: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:322_Alaverdi_Usine.JPG
    I wonder if there are health statistics available on elevated cancer rates, or is this kept a secret? According to the Wikipedia entry, the city has lost nearly half its residents since 1989.
    This is otherwise an area of much beauty–the city is well situated and might have become a lovely tourist area as there are many cultural heritage sites nearby, but no tourist would want to linger in this town as it is.

  4. make me king of Hayastan and I’LL SHUT DOWN THIS MINE, EXODUS ALL OLIGARCHS/MAFIYA FROM HAYASTAN, and RETURN HER BACK TO OUR PEOPLE and GOLDEN DAYS. we out number all the oligarchs/mafiya, so we have the power to do it. I’m confident we can get the police/army to turn on their masters.
    then like putin did to alexander litvinyenko, I’ll be secretly poisoned by the GAYgb or even my own people who discreetly sell out to them. as they did to alex, as they did to our Hay Gusan Aram Asaturyan, the evil masters of this universe will secretly kill us if we try to change things for the better

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poisoning_of_Alexander_Litvinenko

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