The Toronto-based miner and the Kyrgyz authorities have clashed over monetary and environmental points associated to the mine for years. Their standoff took a flip for the more serious in Could, when the nation took control of the mine, alleging that Centerra was working it in a harmful method for each the setting and close by communities.
“As soon as once more, it seems that the Kyrgyz authorities is making an attempt to divert consideration from the truth that it despatched secret police to grab the Kumtor gold mine,” a spokesperson for Centerra Gold stated in an emailed assertion.
“As we have now stated beforehand, when authorities authorities confiscated computer systems and passwords of particular person Kumtor staff, Centerra’s world IT techniques restricted consumer entry to protect the integrity of the group’s world IT infrastructure and its confidential data. The mine’s security techniques weren’t impacted,” he famous.
The corporate responded by suing former director Tengiz Bolturuk, a twin Canadian and Kyrgyz citizen. Centerra says the previous board member secretly co-operated with Canadian and US attorneys, in addition to with the federal government of Kyrgyzstan to stage the mine expropriation.
In late August, the miner stated it had obtained photographic evidence that there are a minimum of 40 meters of water on the backside of the Kumtor gold mine and “abnormally” massive quantities working down the pit partitions, which it stated might result in catastrophic occasions.
Kumtor was the biggest of Centerra’s gold mines, contributing with greater than 50% of the corporate’s complete output.
The operation can be essential to Kyrgyzstan. The mine accounts for a fifth of the ex-Soviet nation’s complete industrial output and has produced greater than 13.2 million ounces of gold between 1997 and the tip of 2020. Final yr’s output was barely over 556,000 ounces.
Former President interrogated
The nation can be within the midst of an investigation into alleged bribes paid by Centerra Gold to high Kyrgyz officers to acquire permits for Kumtor.
Native media reported on Wednesday that ousted first president of impartial Kyrgyzstan, Askar Akaev, was delivered to capital metropolis Bishkek for the second time since August for questioning in reference to the probe into potential corruption across the mine.
The nation’s Committee for Nationwide Safety (UKMK) believes that Centerra paid bribes to high Kyrgyz officers, together with Akaev, and two different former presidents.
The corporate denies the accusations and has branded the expropriation of Kumtor “wrongful and unlawful.”
It has additionally expressed issues concerning the lack of transparency of the operations on the mine for the reason that authorities took management of it.
Centerra says Kumtor has underperformed the 2021 mine plan for June via September by 24%. Which means the operation’s present administration poured about KGS 6.2 billion ($73.5 million) less gold, based mostly on the common gold worth for the interval.
At a parliamentary session on Monday, Kyrgyz Finance Minister Almaz Baketaev was unable to reply a lawmaker’s query on the quantity of gold produced at Kumtor whereas below authorities management, in addition to to the place and for what worth that gold has been offered, Radio Free Europe reported.
Native media additionally reported on Wednesday that, based mostly on knowledge offered by the nation’s Ministry of Finance, revenues from the mine have decreased by KGS 2,620 billion (virtually $31m), or by 27.2% up to now this yr, in comparison with 2020.
Kyrgyz Prime Minister Akylbek Japarov told reporters that he has visited the mine each month since Could and that “every thing is going in accordance with plan.”
(With recordsdata from Reuters)