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January 4, 2022updated 07 Jan 2022 6:29am

Centerra in talks with Kyrgyzstan Government to resolve Kumtor Mine dispute

In May 2021, Kyrgyzstan seized control of the mine, which is one of the largest gold mines in Central Asia.

By Archana Rani

Canadian mining firm Centerra Gold is in negotiations with the Kyrgyzstan Government to settle the dispute over the Kumtor Mine.

The company and the government have been clashing over the financial and environmental issues at the mine.

In May 2021, the government seized control of the mine soon after Centerra Gold began arbitration proceedings against it.

The arbitration proceedings were launched in response to the government’s bill, which threatened the takeover of the mine in case of a breach in environmental standards by the company.

Under the framework for any resolution with the government related to the mine, Centerra expects to receive 26.1% of its shares held by state-owned company Kyrgyzaltyn JSC.

Furthermore, the firm expects the state to assume all responsibility for the mine, along with two Kyrgyz subsidiaries.

The framework also includes the resignation of Kyrgyzaltyn JSC’s two nominees from Centerra’s board of directors.

Kyrgyzstan President Sadyr Zhaparov was quoted by Reuters as saying: “At present, the parties are finalising the discussion of an amicable agreement, including, among other things, the condition for the full transfer of the Kumtor Gold Company to the Kyrgyz Republic.”

Centerra, however, added there can be no certainty of finding a resolution.

Last month, a lawsuit was filed by the Kyrgyzstan Government against Centerra for its alleged breach of the mine’s cyber security and employee rights.

Claimed to be one of the largest gold mines in Central Asia, the Kumtor mine is located 350km south-east of Bishkek and 60km north of the border with the People’s Republic of China.

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