The Kumtor gold mine is Kyrgyzstan's lone economic gem. Yet, despite the mine’s vital importance to the Kyrgyz economy, officials appear to be mulling a doomsday option for the Canadian-run project.
Officials in Bishkek and executives for Toronto-based Centerra Gold, the entity that owns Kumtor, have been struggling to work out a new operating arrangement. Several senior Kyrgyz government officials say they now see no way to resolve the long-standing impasse, after parliament voted last month to block a restructuring deal. That potential bargain would have seen Kyrgyzstan trade its one-third stake in the company for a 50-percent share in the mine. Parliament demanded at least a 67-percent stake, which Centerra says shareholders would be unlikely to accept.
“There’s no light at the end of the tunnel,” a senior government official told EurasiaNet.org, referring to the negotiations.
To read the full story
David Trilling is EurasiaNet's Central Asia editor.