Lydian Announces Acceptance of Lawsuit for Appeal Hearing of Environmental Order

TORONTO, Dec. 10, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Lydian International Limited (TSX: LYD) (“Lydian” or “the Company”) is pleased to announce that the Administrative Court of the Republic of Armenia (the “Court”) has accepted the Company’s lawsuit appealing a directive issued by Mr. Artur Grigoryan, the head of the Republic of Armenia’s Environmental and Mining Inspection Body, to refrain from any mining-related activities at the Amulsar project. The acceptance of the lawsuit by the Court results in an automatic suspension of Mr. Grigoryan’s directive, under the Republic of Armenia’s Administrative Procedure Code, which suspension will remain in place until the appeal is heard and determined.

João Carrêlo, President and Chief Executive Officer of Lydian, stated, “We are pleased that the Court has agreed to accept Lydian’s lawsuit. We are confident that the Court will rule in Lydian’s favor based on studies concluded by the Ministry of Nature Protection that conclusively established no basis for Mr. Grigoryan’s assertions of “new ecological factors” and Mr. Grigoryan’s inherent conflict of interest that lead to this lawsuit.”

As previously announced, Mr. Grigoryan had directed the Company to refrain from any mining-related activities until the Ministry of Nature Protection conducted a study to determine if Mr. Grigoryan’s assertion that new ecological factors had arisen due to sightings of newly found red-listed plants and animal species, specifically, the fact that Acantholimon caryophyllaceum Boiss plant species and Parnassius apollo animal species had been identified at the Amulsar Project site for the first time.

After the issuance of Mr. Grigoryan’s directive, a group commissioned by the Ministry of Nature Protection confirmed the non-existence of the red-listed plant and animal species and concluded that the Amulsar project site did not include the necessary habitat to support either species. These findings were officially communicated by the Minister of Nature Protection and clearly invalidated Mr. Grigoryan’s conclusions. The Company had appealed Mr. Grigoryan’s directive, based on these findings as well as other grounds, including Mr. Grigoryan’s conflict of interest, and included such contradictory evidence with the initial appeal.  The administrative appeal of the initial directives was to be heard by the Chairman of the Environmental Protection and Mining Inspection Agency, a role held by Mr. Grigoryan himself.  Lydian requested that Mr. Grigoryan recuse himself from acting as reviewer of the initial directive due to his conflict of interest.  However, Mr. Grigoryan refused to recuse himself and subsequently rejected the Company’s appeal of his own directive. Lydian subsequently appealed the decision to the Court, which accepted the lawsuit for the appeal hearing and thereby suspends Mr. Grigoryan’s directive pending the determination of the appeal.

Despite the suspension of the directive, the illegal blockades continue to prevent Lydian from accessing site to resume full construction activities. However, Lydian has secured short-term access to undertake winterization and preservation work on process and mobile equipment, as previously disclosed. Lydian continues to retain all of its legal rights and options with respect to the appeal of Mr. Grigoryan’s directive, as well as all other matters related to the Amulsar project, including the ongoing illegal blockades.

About Lydian International Limited

Lydian is a gold developer focusing on construction at its 100%-owned Amulsar Gold Project, located in south-central Armenia. However, illegal blockades have prevented access to Amulsar since late June 2018. Amulsar will be a large-scale, low-cost operation with production targeted to average approximately 225,000 ounces annually over an initial 10-year mine life. Open pit mining and conventional heap leach processing contribute to excellent scale and economic potential. Estimated mineral resources contain 3.5 million measured and indicated gold ounces and 1.3 million inferred gold ounces as outlined in the Q1 2017 Technical Report. Existing mineral resources beyond current reserves and open extensions provide opportunities to improve average annual production and extend the mine life. Lydian is committed to good international industry practices in all aspects of its operations including production, sustainability, and corporate social responsibility. For more information and to directly contact us, please visit www.lydianinternational.co.uk.

For further information, please contact:

Doug Tobler, Chief Financial Officer
+1 720-307-5087
Pamela Solly, Vice President of Investor Relations
+1 720-464-5649
  
Or: moreinfo@Lydianinternational.co.uk 
  

Caution regarding forward-looking information

Certain information contained in this news release is “forward looking”. All statements in this news release, other than statements of historical fact, that address events, results, outcomes or developments that the Company expects to occur are “forward-looking statements”. Forward-looking statements are statements that are not historical facts and are generally, but not always, identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as “plans”, “expects”, “is expected”, “intends”, “anticipates” or variations of such words and phrases or statements that certain actions, events or results “may”, “could”, “will”, “would”, “should”, or “occur” or the negative or other variations of such terms. Forward-looking statements in this news release include, among others, statements with respect to: the outcome and potential success of the appeal; the Company’s legal rights and options with respect to the Amulsar Gold Project; the ongoing suspension of the directive; the Company’s continuing ability to access the Amulsar site to complete the winterization and preservation work; the realization of mineral resource estimates and the timing of development of the Amulsar Gold Project, including the expected start date of gold production; the expected and estimated cost of operations and capital costs at the Amulsar Gold Project; the current Amulsar Gold Project construction schedule, the commitment to and implementation of good international industry practices; the expected gold production from, and life of mine of, the Amulsar Gold Project; and the expected mining methods at the Amulsar Gold Project. Statements concerning mineral resource estimates may also be deemed to constitute forward-looking information to the extent that they involve estimates of the mineralization that will be encountered when the property is developed.

Forward-looking statements are necessarily based on estimates and assumptions that are inherently subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such risks, uncertainties and factors include, without limitation: changes in gold and silver prices; adverse general economic, political, market or business conditions; failure to achieve the objectives of the future exploration and drilling programs; regulatory changes; as well as "Risk Factors" included in the disclosure documents filed on and available at www.sedar.com. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance, and actual results and future events could materially differ from those anticipated in such statements. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. All of the forward-looking statements contained in this news release are qualified by these cautionary statements. The Company expressly disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, events or otherwise, except in accordance with applicable securities laws.