Kyrgyzstan: Talks Over Gold Mine Again Hit Rocks
In a fresh act of brinkmanship, Kyrgyzstan has told Canada’s Centerra Gold that it is pulling out of talks on restructuring the joint project to develop the economically all-important Kumtor gold mine.
The government said in a statement on December 22 that the agreement under review was against “the interests of the Kyrgyz Republic.”
The announcement compounds the mounting pressure at the Kumtor gold mine, whose operations could potentially be halted on January 1 because of parliament’s failure to approve the renewal of the concession's operating license.
In its statement, the government complained that although a joint development deal had been in place since January 2014, negotiations have been at a standstill since the past April.
Kyrgyzstan owns a 33 percent stake in Toronto-listed Centerra Gold, which in turns controls Kumtor and other mines elsewhere, but Bishkek has instead pursued a 50-50 shared ownership of the mine.
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