A worker logs core samples to search for gold deposits in the Talas Valley. (Photo: 'Orsus' Metals Corp.)
A recent arson attack on a mining compound in Kyrgyzstan’s Talas Province is shaking foreign-investor confidence in the beleaguered Central Asian nation. The incident could have important ramifications for Kyrgyzstan’s economic rejuvenation efforts, as the country remains dependent on outside help to develop its lucrative precious metals sector.
The March 10 riot involved a mob that stormed the offices and work site of the Talas Copper Gold mining company, situated in Aral, a remote village in Talas Province known for having an abundance of petroglyphs. Company property was looted and burned. There were no reported injuries, but the damage estimate approached $1 million.
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Editor’s Note: Deirdre Tynan is a Bishkek-based reporter specializing in Central Asian affairs.