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RMG Gold and Georgia’s cultural heritage

By Messenger Staff
Wednesday, August 30
A group of activities, who have been protecting the oldest gold mine in the world in Sakdrisi from the Russian-owned gold mining RMG Gold company, now say the same company constitutes a threat for the medieval Pitareti monastery southwest from Tbilisi.

The group has addressed Georgia’s Minister of Culture Mikheil Giorgadze to react to the damage of the monastery fence by the company’s tractors.

Giorgadze stated in response that gold mining works in Pitareti would launch only if the report over the influence on the nature would be acceptable.

RMG Gold’s official webpage reads that they are one of the largest enterprises in Georgia and the Caucasus region engaged in mining activities. Most of their work is concentrated in the Bolnisi region of Georgia.

JSC RMG Copper and LTD RMG Gold produce copper concentrate and gold Dore alloys (half-fabricates) by mining and processing copper and gold containing ores.

“Big international trading companies buy RMG products. The traders purify the purchased products and melt the pure metals (gold, copper, silver) in the metallurgical plants. Later on, the pure metal is sold on the London Stock Exchange.

“RMG is an important employer in Georgia and the Bolnisi Region. Currently, approximately 3000 employees work at the company, 90% of whom are local residents,” the webpage says.

In 2011-2014 RMG invested about $300 million in Georgia.

In 2013 the Georgian leadership removed the status of cultural heritage from Sakrisi, which could be the oldest gold mine in the world, and allowed the RMG Gold resume mining activities there in 2014.

Former Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili stated that the government took the interests of the local, considered the population when making the decision over letting the company mine in Sakdrisi.

It has been proved many times that in situations when it comes to a choice between a big company and a cultural heritage, the government gives the priority to the business.

Protecting of cultural heritage is the duty of each nation, and any government ignoring this ignores the country’s past and values.