Valued concentrates, economic and environmental projects. Chaarat is the largest employer in the Kapan community

 “Chaarat” mine in Syunik is of great importance both for the Kapan community and for the entire republic as an important factor of economic and social investments. Armhanq spoke with Davit Tovmasyan, general director of “Chaarat Kapan” company, about the operation of the mine.

What does the company represent?

“Chaarat” is an international organization that has two main mines in Kapan and Kyrgyzstan. The last one under the development stage, it has been explored, the reserves are approved, we are waiting for investments to build the processing plant. We export two types of concentrate. The first is gold copper, where gold is predominant. The second is zinc concentrate, which also contains gold and silver.

Who were the first beneficiaries of the mine?

– The city of Kapan was created right around the mine. Once there was a small village here. The mine has a history of about 200 years. Mining work was started by the French, continued by the Greeks, and gradually they developed it. They started with smelters, went to see where there was a rich vein, mined, smelted and got copper.

Then technologies developed, they built a processing plant, produced concentrates, sent them outside the country, and based on this, the city began to expand, labor force was required.

What role does the company play for the Kapan community?

Today our company is the largest employer in the community, we have about 1000 employees, as well as about 500 contractors, together about 1500 employees.

Our largest investment project is the Eastern Flank, where we have already started exploration drilling. As a miner, I believe that one cannot live only in a mine, there must be diversification, tourism and agriculture should develop. We support a number of business projects, for example, we create sewing factories in the villages, we give orders, we provide them with jobs so that their business grows.

Having social programs, we cooperate with the municipality. We learn about community problems and help, support the solution. In general, much in this city was historically built by the company. We built and equipped a kindergarten in Kapan. We also provide property to other kindergartens in the community.

We renovated the infectious disease hospital, the female consultation department. We bought garbage trucks for the community; we support them with literally everything.

And what environmental projects are you implementing, what is this part of your activity?

– The most important thing is that we work in a closed system, which is of the greatest importance in the world. Our emissions circulate in terms of water, the tails flow to the tailings, where they settle, and we reuse the purified water. Thus, our emissions are closed, we can say that they do not exist. We have no external emissions; the water is returned to the processing plant.

We are implementing a very large project in terms of environmental sustainability: we will strengthen the tailings dam. Taking into account the developments in the world related to tailings, to ensure additional safety of the Geghanush tailings dam, operated by the company, and to avoid possible problems, the company is developing a project to ensure the stability of the dam.

We also involved the international consulting company SRK in these works. About five and more million dollars will be invested in this project. This is an additional cost, but it is done for our peace of mind. After that, we will perform land reclamation and greening, and the area will become very green, safe, flat and beautiful and absolutely will not leave the impression of a tailings dam. We also have other programs: we are working with banks to provide loans for the implementation of green technologies. We plan to install solar panels.

We also want to replace our diesel vehicles with electric ones, which will bring great environmental benefits: there will be no smoke. We have this experience. One of our battery-powered machines has been converted to an electric one with our own efforts.

Being a closed mine, a lot of electricity is consumed on ventilation, but with electric vehicles there will be no such problems.

What are you doing to mitigate the damage in the face of a falling dollar exchange rate?

– Due to the fluctuations of the dollar-dram exchange rate, we have suffered and continue to suffer very large losses. That is why our next big plan is to take the tails back to the mine. When we remove the ore from the mine, holes appear there. We will fill those holes with tails.

This practice is accepted all over the world, there are special concentrators that condense the tailings, dehydrate them to the point that the pumps can carry them, then a little cement is mixed and filled into the holes. There it solidifies.

In this way, we ensure both the stability of the mine and the capacity of the tailings dam.


It is necessary to form an idea of the need for rational use of mines in society

Since 2019, “Chaarat Kapan” CJSC is one of the assets of the British company “Chaarat Gold International Limited”. It exploits Shahumyan gold-polymetallic deposit of Syunik region by underground mining method.

 The Company produces gold concentrates with silver and copper, and zinc concentrates with gold and silver content. The annual productivity of the mine is 600,000 tons. 

 The company has 1,001 employees, and more than 500 people work in partner contractor organizations that provide services to the company.  

 The average salary in “Chaarat Kapan” is around AMD 448,000.  Paid taxes and other mandatory fees: AMD 6,128,601,805.

Environmental issues
The operation of the Shahumyan gold-polymetallic mine from the point of view of environmental, production safety and efficient use of resources, the company implements various projects to reduce the impact on the environment, the Administration Director of Chaarat Kapan Edgar Hovhannisyan said in a conversation with

A modern ventilation system operates in the underground mine. A dust suppression system has also been introduced, and water tanks are also used.

As a result of the experimental work of the company specialists, the company recorded a successful experience: a car with an internal combustion engine was transformed into a car powered by an electric motor. Taking into account this successful experience, the company is currently investigating the possibilities of introducing and using equipment with electric motors in the underground mine, which will contribute to the reduction of emissions.

“In this regard, we are constantly looking for safer and more favorable conditions for employees. The underground communication system has been improved, as well as a location program for employees and mine equipment has been implemented, which is one of the important programs aimed at improving workplace safety, through which we can see where our employee is at the moment in the mine, it helps in a prompt response when incidents are reported. Our efforts focused on safety are constant and continuous,” he says.

Referring to the Geghanush tailings dam operated by the company, our interviewee mentioned that the tailings dam works with a closed water circulation system, that is, it was designed in such a way that the emissions to the environment were reduced to a minimum. By the way, the Geghanush river is separated by a tunnel and bypasses the tailings dam, which excludes the possibility of river pollution.

According to the Administrative Director of the company, the tailings dam has two dams, preparatory work is underway to further strengthen the tailings dam, but the project has not yet started, for this, it is necessary to implement a number of stages, but representatives of civil society and environmental organizations speak out about the project before it starts, it was alleged, that the company is engaged in illegal activities, which, of course, has not been confirmed by the relevant authorities.

In order to avoid possible problems related to strengthen the Geghanush tailings dam during the further operation, a project is being developed to ensure stability. The company also involved the international consulting company SRK in these works. In general, to solve environmental problems and improve the legislative field in this direction, the company actively cooperates with the Union of Miners and Metallurgists of Armenia, providing its professional potential.

Taking into account the problems raised by its members in this direction, and reasonable considerations aimed at solving them, the Union, on behalf of commodity producers, proposed amending the Law “On Assessment and Expertise of Environmental Impact”. The draft law passed the first reading in the National Assembly, negotiations and discussions with state bodies are still ongoing.

Social Projects 

The company’s annual planned budget for social programs is 150 million AMD, but programs implemented in the affected communities usually exceed this amount. “The social policy of recent years is aimed at intensifying cooperation with the affected community. We mainly invest in capital projects,” says Edgar Hovhannisyan.

The road from the city of Kapan to Geghanush has been completely repaired, projects have been completed to repair and equip kindergartens, cultural centers, and medical institutions of the affected communities. A new kindergarten in the Kapan community will be opened in September, the work is fully funded by “Chaarat Kapan” CJSC. These are the programs of last year, the programs caused by the epidemic and the 44-day war were also numerous and complex.

 Problems of the Sector

The company is concerned about the year-by-year decrease in interest among applicants in science subjects. It is most noticeable in such key professions related to the field as geology, mining and metallurgy, and other disciplines. Currently, the company is experiencing a shortage of geologists, mountain masters, drillers, mountain engineers, surveyors, and technical workers. “In this sense, not only our company but also the republic has a problem,” says Ara Barseghyan, advisor to the General Director of “Chaarat Kapan” CJSC. It is necessary to adopt new approaches so that the applicants are interested and motivated to continue their studies in these professions. It is obvious. There is a lot to do here.

“Chaarat Kapan” CJSC pursues a policy aimed at increasing the recognition of professions related to the mining industry. For example, the company pays great attention to the use of modern technologies in the mining industry. Modern computer programs have been introduced for this purpose. Over the years, the company has supported the development of the professional skills of employees. For this purpose, experience exchange programs have been implemented many times, both in Armenia and abroad, and seminars and courses have always been organized. As a result of such work, the personnel trained in the Company enjoy great demand and reputation both in Armenia and abroad.

“I must say with pain that the media is flooded with only calls to close existing mines and not open new ones. In this sense, there is also a need to introduce professions to the general public that, if properly performed, will guarantee the competent operation of the mining industry. After all, the development of societies has always been interconnected with the extraction of minerals. It is necessary to form an idea in society about the need for rational use of the mine,” the Adviser to the General Director of “Chaarat Kapan” CJSC is convinced.

Ara Barseghyan also noted that their company is also a member of the Union of Miners and Metallurgists of Armenia. The Union is an organization of conscientious subsoil users concerned about the problems of mining and the future of Armenia, the purpose of which is to present the problems of mining to the state and, together with the state, to find optimal solutions to these problems, which is another way to strengthen cooperation with the state. For example, recently the Union has come up with quite large-scale proposals for improving the legislative framework regulating the sector, which is still under discussion. The problems in the field are diverse and Ara Barseghyan believes that their optimal solutions can be found through joint work.


Environmental training in the company

The 3rd year students of the Faculty of Technologies and Industry Economics of the Kapan branch of the National Polytechnic University of Armenia visited the company.

Within the framework of the university-company cooperation, the students had the opportunity to get acquainted practically with the processes of surface water sampling and cleaning and monitoring of mine water carried out by the company Environmental Department.

During the visit, the students also met with the company General Director David Tovmasyan, who answered students’ questions about the activities of the mining company.

The road leading to Geghanush was thoroughly repaired

 Another project revived within the framework of cooperation with Chaarat Kapan and the Kapan community. The part of the road leading from the Kapan community to Geganush, which remained outside the previous project, was completely repaired.

For road construction, the company provided about 68  million AMD  to the community.

It should be noted that in previous years, the company contributed to the complete repair of the road leading to Geghanush. In 2020, the company provided about 64 million AMD  to the Kapan community, and in the framework of social cooperation in 2021, about 72 million AMD  were provided for the repair of the road.

Kapan will have a new preschool in the new academic year of 2023

The construction works of the preschool, funded by Chaarat Kapan, at Lernagortsneri 16 street in the Kapan community are nearing completion. At the moment, interior works are underway.

The 12 operating preschools in the town work in overloaded groups. During recent years building a new preschool has become an increasingly important issue for the community, with the launch of which the issue of attendance of around 150 children will be solved, new jobs will be created and most importantly, the best conditions for education and entertainment of the children will be provided. It is one of the unique buildings in the region as a preschool built with new technologies, every detail is carefully thought out here so that children will enjoy visiting the preschool.

For the project, the company allocated 100 million AMD in 2019 and 130 million AMD in 2022 to the community within the framework of the socio-economic partnership signed with the Kapan community.

This is one of the most important investments of Chaarat, for the implementation of which the company spared no expense so that the children of the town Kapan have favorable conditions.


On October 1, the world celebrates the International Day of the Elderly People

On the occasion of the day, the employees of Chaarat Kapan visited the “Artsvabyun” service center for the elderly people in Syunik marz to share the festive mood with the residents of the center and awaken in them the hope that they are not alone, but surrounded by the attention of all of us.

During the visit, they got acquainted with the daily life of the residents of the center, the conditions and problems created.It should be noted that the company always monitors the center’s problems and tries to participate in their solution as much as possible. Thanks to corporate cooperation for the 2nd year already, the elderly people are provided with firewood in winter.

The elderly people and the entire staff of the center thanked the company staff for their continuous attention and care.

Once again congratulations to all elderly people on their day. May each of you be happy and healthy enough to enjoy decline of life.

Gifts for first-graders

This year, on September 1, about 70 children of Chaarat Kapan employees attended the first grade.

According to tradition, the company sent the employees’ children to school in a festive mood. On the occasion of the day, Chaarat Gold Holdings Production Director Darin Cooper and Chaarat Kapan General Director David Tovmasyan congratulated the children and gave them presents.

We congratulate the first graders on passing the most important stage of life.  Let the power of knowledge always accompany them and bring success.

The best employees were rewarded!

On July 17, the professional holiday of the Miner and Metallurgist was celebrated in Armenia.

On the occasion of the day, Chaarat Kapan organized a festive event. The general manager of the company, Davit Tovmasyan, presented 18 employees of the company with certificates of appreciation, monetary rewards and gifts for their contribution to the improvement of production efficiency, conscientious work, and professionalism at work.

On the professional holiday, two employees of the company were awarded with commemorative medal and monetary award by the Branch Republican Union of Trade Unions of Miners, Metallurgists and Jewelers of the Republic of Armenia.

Congratulations to the awarded employees from the whole Chaarat management and colleagues.

National Polytechnic University of Armenia Student Visit

Students of the Kapan Branch of the National Polytechnic University of Armenia held their next ecology practical course at Chaarat Kapan’s operation. The course was dedicated to Environmental monitoring efforts. A theory class was followed by a visit of the Geghanush tailing dam accompanied by our Environmental specialists. Students were able to observe ongoing regular water sampling and river flow testing carried out by the specialists of Chaarat Kapan’s Environmental Department and were able to discuss questions during the visit.

Given the strong interest of the students for more practical insights, the positive feedback from the University and our overall cooperation with the community around educational programmes, Chaarat Kapan plans to regularly organise such practical courses and support an effort towards implementing Environmental visits into the university curriculum.



Happy June 1st!


On June 1st, the International Children’s Day, employees of Chaarat Kapan visited the children of the Geghanush kindergarten and handed out small presents.
Congratulations to all children on this happy occasion. Wishing you a bright childhood and a peaceful and prosperous future.