Lawmakers in Kyrgyzstan are again trying to force Toronto-based Centerra Gold, the country’s largest foreign investor, to renegotiate the terms of a mining deal that generates up to 12 percent of GDP. Any new operating contract would be the third for the country’s flagship Kumtor Gold Mine in less than a decade.
Parliament voted on January 25 to endorse the recommendations of the State Commission on Kumtor. That 25-person group of MPs, ministers and experts assessed environmental, socioeconomic, and legal issues at Kumtor, and in December recommended roughly $152 million in fines, as well as annulment of a 2009 deal negotiated under former president Kurmanbek Bakiyev. Centerra, which, under the 2009 agreement, is one-third owned by the Kyrgyz government, stands by its current contract.
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Chris Rickleton is a Bishkek-based journalist.