Environmental protection against mining tailings is one of the most active problems of modern society. At present the estimated reserves of Armenia's non-ferrous metallurgy on the world market scale have reached USD 20 billion. There are abundant resources of molybdenum, copper, gold, silver, lead, zinc, and special elements (such as rhenium, selenium tellurium, bismuth cadmium, and vanadium) in the territory of Armenia. Currently, the non-ferrous metallurgical industry is the only branch in the Republic, which realizes its production goals abroad. The most significant enterprises in this sector are copper-molybdenum, gold and multi-metal mines. At present there are more than 10 tailings dams in Armenia, all of which, with the exception of Ararat gold processing plant's tailings dam, are located in areas with complex geographical and topographic conditions, and are classified as being stream-type tailings dams. 75% of the tailings dams present in Armenia are located in the Syuniq region. Some of these have been ranked as the largest tailings dams in the world, thanks to the complexity of their geographical location, structural parameters and architectural solutions.
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