Horse killing triggers violence at Chinese mine in Kyrgyzstan

A violent confrontation has erupted between Chinese nationals and local residents at a gold mine in the Central Asian republic of Kyrgyzstan.

Global Times reports that 450 villagers living near the Taldy-Bulak Levoberejny gold mine threatened to destroy the offices of a Chinese company after the horse of a villager was killed by an excavator operated by a PRC national.

Tensions between Chinese miners and local residents have accumulated steadily since the purchase of the mine by Fujian-based Zijin Mining Group (SEHK:2899) in August 2011.

Global Times cites an anonymous source from the Chinese Chamber of Commerce of Kyrgyzstan as saying that Chinese firms are experiencing difficulty in Kyrgyzstan due to poor regulation and public hostility, and that future profits are far from guaranteed.

According to the source local residents feel they are not receiving their share of benefits from the foreign ownership and operation of Kyrgyz mines.

Zijin Mining, one of China's leading gold and copper miners, purchased the mine from Altynken Limited liability Company in 2011 for a consideration of USD$660 million. Zijin one of over 50 Chinese mining companies that have made forays into the Kyrgyz resources sector since 2009.