Company RMG Gold denies vandalism charges

German and Georgian archaeologists claim that Sakdrisi gold mine is the oldest mine in the world., 13 Jan 2014 - 16:22, Tbilisi,Georgia

A mining company has adamantly denied claims it will vandalise an ancient gold mine when it begins excavating the site.

RMG Gold said charges against the company concerning the Sakdrisi Gold Mine, were "unfounded and "absurd at a press conference on January 13.

Several non-government organisations and archeologists have accused the company of vandalizing the prehistoric territory.

The consultant to the Cultural Heritage issues of the RMG Gold company, Soso Tsabadze, said the Ministry of Culture was acting one-sided against the company.

"Sakdrisi Gold Mine does not have cultural monument status. So all charges that we are vandals and trying to annihilate a cultural monument is absurd, said Tsabadze at the press conference.

He also claimed the Ministry of Culture had delayed approving permission for the company to begin working at the Sakdrisi territory.

Sakdrisi Gold Mine is the oldest gold mine in the world, which dates back almost 5,000 years. German and Georgian archeologists have been excavating the site since 2006.

RMG Gold decided to begin technical work at the gold mine after the Ministry of Culture abolished Sakdrisi Gold Mines status as a cultural monument. Furthermore, according to the Presidents wishes, issued in July 2013, the Sakdrisi Gold Mine was removed from the National significance category.

Several days ago the National Agency for the Protection of Cultural Heritage urged RMG Gold to cancel working at the Sakdrisi-Kachaghiani territory.

On January 10, representatives of the Ministry of Culture were forbidden to enter ancient Sakdrisi-Kachaghiani territory. Security on behalf of RMG Gold told them to leave the territory.

Several  German and Georgian archaeologists claim the gold mine  is the oldest mine in the world. Georgian Ministry of Culture did not confirm that the gold and golden ores that were being mined were from the prehistoric era.