Alaverdi

The Alaverdi Mining-Metallurgy Factory. First established by King Erekle II of Georgia, copper smelting in Alaverdi dates back to 1770. When the plant closed in 1988 at the cost of 5,000 jobs, parts were sold off, including expensive filters which had mitigated the effects of caustic emissions. Reopened in 1997, sans filters, sulphur dioxide emissions continue to poison the town's 13,000 residents. The copper plant is by far the largest employer in a town with high levels of unemployment.