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  2. In Komi, the court fined the head of a gold mining company

In Komi, the court fined the head of a gold mining company

Dmitry Stepanovsky
Scrap metal on the territory of the Yugyd Va National Park
Photo by Dmitry Stepanovsky

In Inta, the court fined Mikhail Tarakhtiy, the CEO of the Gold Minerals Company, for 50 thousand rubles for willful non-compliance with the court decision, which obliged the company to restore the Chudnoye deposit in the Yugyd Va National Park to its natural condition. The press service of the Komi Prosecutor's Office reported this on February 26.

In 2016, the court returned the site of the Chudnoye deposit leased by ZAO Gold Minerals to federal property, and the gold miners were ordered to restore the territory to its natural condition. Part of the equipment remained on this territory for four years, after which court enforcement officers referred a criminal case against Mikhail Tarakhtiy, the CEO of the enterprise, to the court. The court found him guilty under Part 2 of Article 315 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (Non-Execution of a Court's Decision by an Employee of a Profit-Making Organization) and fined him for 50 thousand rubles.

In September 2020, the activists of the Save Pechora Committee went to the Chudnoye deposit. They found a pile of scrap metal, household garbage, burnt coal dust, deep ditches left by gold miners after geological exploration there. Environmentalists recorded violations and made the prosecutor's office and Greenpeace aware of them.

The Yugyd Va National Park in the Komi Republic is part of the Virgin Komi Forests UNESCO World Heritage Site. Placer gold on the territory of the current park began to be mined in the late 1970s. Gold mining was stopped after all these sites were included in Yugyd Va in 1994. Since then, industrialists have been trying to get part of the park's territory for gold mining, including with the help of the authorities.

The government of Komi tried to implement a project for gold mining in Yugyd Va several times, despite the ban of industrial works in the reserve. The Ministry of Natural Resources of Russia tried to redraw the boundaries of the park to exclude the Chudnoye gold deposit from it twice. The Gold Minerals Company obtained the development license. The Supreme Court overturned the decision of the Ministry of Natural Resources at the request of Greenpeace both times.

Activists of Greenpeace Russia launched a petition for the preservation of Yugyd Va in August 2019, more than 100 thousand people signed it. Environmentalists brought the petition to the presidential administration, which declared land withdrawal in the national park for gold mining illegal. However, since June, the State Duma was considering a draft law that allowed changing the boundaries of national parks. The authorities adjourned its consideration after Greenpeace’s campaign. On December 23, the State Duma adopted amendments to the draft law "On Specially Protected Natural Territories" in the third reading. There are no rules on changing the boundaries of national parks in them.


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