Avalanche kills Centerra Gold’s Kumtor mine worker

Avalanche kills Centerra Gold’s Kumtor mine worker

An avalanche in Kyrgyzstan's northern Issyk-Kul region has killed a contractor for Kumtor gold mine, a subsidiary of Canada's Centerra Gold (TSX:CG).

The company informed the tragedy occurred Monday evening, as a group of six people, consisting of four alpinist-contractors, a communication contractor, and a staff member began descending from the Sary Moinok Microwave Station, after regular seasonal maintenance.

There is one more worker in serious conditions, who was rescued Tuesday afternoon, the firm said in an update.

The vast Kumtor open pit gold mine accounts for 60% of the nation's industrial output and, according to the Centerra, it is the largest gold mine operated in Central Asia by a Western-based company.

The mine, which lies near the Chinese border at an altitude of 4,000 metres, has long been mired in political and environmental controversy and has sparked repeated political crises, particularly in the past five years, due to public protests over alleged corruption.

Image courtesy of Kumtor.