Kyrgyzstan’s Kumtor gold mine is responsible for some 12 percent of the country’s GDP. Nevertheless, or perhaps for that reason, politicians can’t seem to keep their hands off it.
This week, following a parliamentary commission report describing environmental damage in and around the high-altitude mine, deputies began debating whether to revoke Kumtor’s operating license. Centerra Gold Inc, which runs Kumtor and is one-third owned by Bishkek, believes the report’s “findings are without merit.” But the debate, and lingering proposals for nationalization, wreaked havoc on Centerra’s stock: It plunged over 30 percent in Toronto. Once again, Centerra’s headaches doing business in Kyrgyzstan provide a cautionary tale for potential investors.
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