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Lydian to regain access after long-running blockade

Lydian International (TSX: LYD) shares shot up more than 38% on Friday after it announced an Armenian court had ruled in favour of the company regaining access to its under-construction Amulsar gold project.
Lydian to regain access after long-running blockade Lydian to regain access after long-running blockade Lydian to regain access after long-running blockade Lydian to regain access after long-running blockade Lydian to regain access after long-running blockade

Amulsar’s screening building and drive station, pictured under construction in June

Staff reporter

Lydian said the court had ordered police to remove trespassers, who had blockaded the project since June 22 last year, and assure free access to Amulsar.

It said the April 10 court ruling supported Lydian's complaint against local police, who had said there was no basis for the removal of protestors, their vehicles, tents and trailers.

"This is a long overdue step that we hope will become an important milestone towards the abolishment of unlawfulness and discrimination that Lydian has been facing since June 2018," president and CEO João Carrêlo said.

Lydian said on Friday the court's ruling was effective one month after the date of publication unless appealed and at that point, the blockade remained in place.

Carrêlo said the company looked forward to the prompt implementation by police of the court's ruling and said Lydian reserved all rights and remedies to address any disputes under Armenian and international law.

The company had flagged the possibility of taking its dispute to international arbitration last month.

It expects Amulsar to produce 225,000 ounces of gold annually over an initial 10-year life.

The project is now subject to a third audit on its environmental impact, which Lydian has said it would cooperate with but believed was unnecessary, as the government had approved its environmental impact assessment prior to it starting construction.

Lydian laid off 83% of its workforce or 243 employees, and estimated 1,100 contracted jobs had been lost due to the blockades, according to its 2018 results.

The company struck a deal with its financiers in December to extend its forbearance period to June 30 and gain up to US$18.56 million in funding during the period.

Its shares were trading at C49c 12 months ago and fell as low as 6.5c in November.

They rose 5c or 38.46% on Friday to 18c to capitalise Lydian at $135 million.