CAO Cases

Arne Hoel, The World Bank

Europe & Central Asia

Armenia / Lydian Intl3-01/Gndevaz & Jermuk

Members of Gndevaz and Jermuk villages and Local NGOs
Date Filed
April 16, 2014
Water pollution, biodiversity, violation of national laws and PS
Case Status
Open - Compliance



In April 2014, a complaint was submitted to CAO by two residents of the Gndevaz and Jermuk villages in Armenia with support from nine NGOs with regard to IFC's investment in Lydian International Limited, a junior mining company sponsoring the exploration of the Amulsar gold project.


According to IFC, the project is at an advanced feasibility stage, subject to completion of a bankable feasibility study, and environmental and social impact studies. Subject to obtaining all outstanding permits, the project is expected to move into the development and construction stage, targeting first gold production in 2016. IFC is a 7.9% shareholder and has invested over $16 million in stages since 2007.


The complainants highlight concerns about project impacts on the local water basins' quality, red-listed species and a local tourism center. Other issues raised include criticisms of the EIA conducted and alleged violations of IFC’s Performance Standards and national regulations.


CAO Action

CAO found the complaint eligible for further assessment in April 2014. During the assessment, CAO held several informational sessions with the parties where clarity on CAO’s mandate, functions and services was provided. Ultimately, the complainants informed CAO that they believe their interests and those of the Armenian public would be best served by a compliance process. Hence, in accordance with CAO’s Operational Guidelines, the complaint has been referred to CAO’s Compliance function for appraisal of IFC’s environmental and social due diligence with regard to the project.


In April 2015, CAO completed a compliance appraisal with regard to the Lydian 01 complaint. On the basis of the compliance appraisal, CAO decided to conduct a compliance investigation into IFC's investment in Lydian International Ltd. The CAO investigation will assess whether IFC reviewed and supervised the project in accordance with its policies and procedures.



As of October 22, 2015, this case was merged with Lydian-02 for the purpose of the compliance investigation.

On June 19, 2017, CAO sent its final investigation report to IFC's management for official response. IFC has 20 working days to submit a response. Once CAO receives IFC's response, the report and IFC's response will be sent to the President of the World Bank Group for clearance and publication.

All documents relating to this case are available under "View Documents" below. 


Status as of June 19, 2017


Project information

Project Name & Number
Lydian Inlt 3 27657
Lydian International
Oil, Gas and Mining
Europe & Central Asia
Environmental Category
US$16 million in stages since 2007

Case Tracker


  • Eligible: Completed
  • Assessment Period: Transferred


  • Under Appraisal: Completed
  • Under Audit: In Process

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