Centerra Gold resumes operations at Kyrgystan mine after protests

2 June 2013 (Last Updated June 2nd, 2013 18:30)

Toronto-headquartered Centerra Gold has resumed operations at its Kumtor mine in Kyrgystan, following days of blockade by protesting villagers who wanted a larger share of the profits.

Centerra Gold resumes operations  in Kyrgystan mine

Toronto-headquartered Centerra Gold has resumed operations at its Kumtor mine in Kyrgystan following days of blockade by protesting villagers who want a larger share of the profits.

On 28 May, over 1,000 villagers blocked the road leading to the Kumtor mine and cut power supplies, which prompted the government to declare a state of emergency around the mine, located at Dzhety Oguz district in the northern Issyk Kul region.

Clashes broke out between the protestors and police, leaving at least 50 injured and an estimated $4m in damages.

Centerra said in a statement on Sunday that the mine continues to operate sufficient equipment to remove ice and waste from the high movement area of the pit.

"The mine and mill have resumed operations as truck convoys are now able to bring supplies and consumables to site and personnel can be moved to and from the mine," the company added.

The company also noted that that the suspension of operations would not have a significant impact on the mine's forecasted annual gold production of between 550,000oz and 600,000oz.

The mine, which accounts for 12% of the country's GDP, lies 1,300ft above sea level, making it one of the world's highest gold mines.

Kyrgystan struck a deal with Centerra to operate the mine in 2009 but a state commission accused the Canadian firm of paying little to operate the mine and causing severe environmental damages, resulting in fines of nearly $460m.


Image: The Kumtor mine and mill have resumed operations as truck convoys are now able to bring supplies and consumables to site. Photo: Centerra Gold.

Energy Technology forum on LinkedIn