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Sakdrisi gold-mine controversy continues

By Tatia Megeneishvili
Friday, April 10
According to the United National Movement, the last undamaged part of Sakdrisi Khachaghiani gold mine, which might be one of the oldest gold mines in the world, was destroyed. Member of the UNM Sergo Ratiani reported that the explosion took place on April 7.

The opposition demands the visit of experts at the site.

"This is a barbaric act. The world’s leading scientists have confirmed that Sakdrisi is the world’s oldest gold mine. This is shame for the country and therefore there it is necessary to set up a commission to investigate the ongoing events," Ratiani stated.

Member of the Georgian Dream Gia Volski responded to the UNM members.

He said that all the artifacts found in this zone are very important and require special care.

The president’s advisor Kakha Kozhoridze said that based on the court’s decision, large scale work is prohibited in the gold mine, and the explosion is disrespectful to the court.

Head of Legal and Corporate Governance at RMG Gold Vakhtang Paresishvili, said that all the work being done in the mine is legal.

Defender of Sakdrisi Nino Mikiashvili said that political parties are just speculating over the issue.

“No matter the decision of court, RMD Gold has not stopped mining work in this zone. They are blowing-up parts of the mine every single day, and no one really cares about this. Statements made about this issue sound fake to me, because when it was really possible to save this heritage site, everyone stayed quiet. However, I am looking forward to the court session scheduled on April 13,” stated Mikiashvili.

Sakdrisi – Khachaghiani gold mine is supposed to be a 3, 000 year-old mine. Several months ago, the ministry of culture revoked the status of historical heritage from the mine. However, the court annulled the decision on June 16, 2014. The court said the ministry violated procedures, and made the decision to suspend the historical monument status of Sakdrisi gold mine without archaeological studies.