On Friday, dozens of residents from the village of Meghradzor protested in front of the presidential palace against the construction of Meghradzor Gold Company's ore processing plant there, Tert.am agency reported
Meghradzor residents protested with banners that read "No to cyanide in Meghradzor", "Serzh Sargsyan, Meghradzor!" Within one night, protestors collected 800 signatures.
As one of the residents told Tert.am, the company in turn is collecting signatures for the construction of the plant, but have so far collected very few, as only 100-120 villagers are employed there.
"Scientists and environmentalists have told us that the plant is a threat to us," Meghradzor resident Karen Hovhannisyan said.
Villagers say that the pressure from "Meghradzor Gold" Company has been ongoing for a month already. On December 23, during a general meeting of residents, representatives of the company tried to convince them that construction of the plant would cause no environmental issues in Meghradzor.
However, local residents don't trust them and believe that sodium cyanide is very dangerous, stating that "if it gets in water or soil, the end will come".
Sodium cyanide is a highly toxic substance; it is lethal for humans at as little as 0,1 g.
"They say it is a closed system. But there is the human factor, technical factors and the potential for the accident. And if one of these factors manifests itself into an issuse, the system will turn into a disaster," Meghradzor residents stated in their letter.
In case of a possible accident at the plant, according to villagers, coastal settlements will be badly affected.
A Megradzor delegation consisting of three people was received by presidential adviser, who promised to study the issue.