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Marine Martirosyan

Vahe Sarukhanyan

Armenian Businessman Buying Kapan Gold Mine for $55 Million

Earlier this month, Chaarat Gold Holdings (CGH) reported that it’s selling its only operating mine in Armenia (Shahumyan/Kapan) for US$55.4 million to Armenian miner Gold Mining Company LLC.

The Shahumyan gold-polymetallic mine, the second largest gold mine in Armenia, is located near the town of Kapan, in the country’s southern Syunik Province.

Mining.com quoted CGH CEO Mike Fraser as saying the deal represents a "a beneficial exit opportunity at a time when Kapan is facing higher costs, potential losses and further funding requirements".

A statement on the sale issued by CGH says the buyer of its subsidiary Chaarat Kapan CJSC, operates the Lichkvaz gold mine located some 70 kms from the Syunik town of Kapan.

In fact, the Lichkvaz mine is operated by Lichkvaz CJSC, not Gold Mining Company LLC.

Lichkvaz CJSC is owned by Yerevan resident Sasun Avetisyan, who’s from Kajaran. He also owns Gold Mining Company.

Lichkvaz CJSC, registered in Yerevan, was founded in 2010 and has the right to operate the Lichkvaz-Tey mine until 2036. Gold Mining Company received state registration this month, on August 2. This company was essentially formed to buy the shares of Chaarat Kapan from Chaarat Gold Holdings.  

CGH also announced that Sasun Avetisyan, the owner of buyer Gold Mining Company, is the director and co-owner of S&A Mining LLC (S&A Mining), which has been one of the contractor partners of the Kapan Mining Combine (aka Chaarat Kapan CJSC) for a long time.

Sasun Avetisyan is indeed the director of the Yerevan-based S&A Mining LLC, founded in 2015, but is not its formal owner, because S&A Mining belongs to another Yerevan company, Vand-Gass LLC. The latter is owned by Sasun Avetisyan's father, Slavik Avetisyan, and Mariam Nersisyan from Kajaran, whose father, Aristakes Nersisyan, was the chief accountant of the Zangezur Copper-Molybdenum Combine (ZCMC) at the time when Maxim Hakobyan was the general director.

The current director of Vand-Gass is the brother of Mariam Nersisyan, Garnik Nersisyan, who replaced Sasun Avetisyan in that position. It turns out that the contractor partner of Chaarat Kapan, S&A Mining, is the joint business of the families of Aristakes Nersisyan, one of the former influential figures of ZCMC, and Sasun Avetisyan. The two are consolidating their positions in the mining industry.

Sasun Avetisyan's business network

Avetisyan, in addition to Lichkvaz CJSC, Gold Mining Company LLC and S&A Mining LLC (his link here is through his father), has a stake in the following companies.

Chaarat Kapan.jpg (154 KB)

AGRS (Armenian Gold Resource Corporation) LLC, registered in Yerevan, is the sole owner of Lichkvaz CJSC and in turn is fully owned by Sasun Avetisyan, who is also the general director of the company.

Avetisyan acquired AGRS in 2019 from the Cypriot and Dutch subsidiaries of the offshore Polymetal International. (Polymetal International sold the Kapan Mining Company to Chaarat Gold Holdings in 2018 for $55 million.)

Sasun Avetisyan is the general director of Aparag Mining LLC registered in Yerevan. LLC belongs to another Yerevan company, Vand-Sa LLC, equally owned by Slavik Avetisyan (Sasun Avetisyan's father) and Garnik Nersisyan. (The latter is also the director of Vand-Sa).

Previously, the shareholders of the Vand-Sa (through Aparag Mining) were Sasun Avetisyan, Aristakes Nersisyan and Arman Hakobyan, who is the youngest son of Maxim Hakobyan. Thus, at present Aparag Mining, like S&A Mining, is a joint business of the Avetisyan and Nersisyan families. The company is engaged in blasting work and is one of the contractors of ZCMC, like S&A Mining.

Sasun Avetisyan and his partner Samvel Ivanyan have two companies of the same name in Yerevan: NRM (Natural Resource Management) CJSC and NRM CJSC. The second company was created in a separate manner from the first, that is, it’s its successor. Ivanyan is the general director of both and owns 20%. Avetisyan owns 75%. The remainder belongs to Vahram Avagyan.

According to Armenia’s State Revenue Commission, NRM (Natural Resource Management) provides support services in the field of mining, and NRM is engaged in engineering work and related technical consulting.

The 47-year-old businessman is also involved in the construction industry. He has a 25% stake in AP Tower LLC registered in Yerevan. Avetisyan's wife, Liana Hovhannisyan, owns the same percentage of shares. The company is engaged in the construction of residential, public and industrial buildings and is now constructing the Panorama Hills residential complex in Yerevan.

Photos from chaarat.com

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