Centerra Gold’s shares tumble as director resigns

Shares of Centerra Gold Inc (TSX:CG) were falling almost 8% on Thursday morning after the miner announced one of its directors had quit.

The Canadian company’s release stated that Niyazbek Aldashev, a Kyrgyzstan-based independent member of Centerra’s board, had stepped down one day after Kyrgyz lawmakers decided to review the gold company’s contract for its Kumtor mine.

Aldashev, a Bishkek-based lawyer, was the co-chair of the company’s corporate social responsibility committee.

The open pit gold mine, which accounts for 12% of the Central Asian nation’s economy, was given the green light under Kyrgyzstan deposed leader, Kurmanbek Bakiyev, who was accused of corruption.

Since Kumtor started running in 1997, it has generated $1.9 billion for Kyrgyzstan and produced more than 8.4 million oz of gold.

Centerra shares plunged to a two and a half  year low last Friday after two days of debate in Kyrgyzstan’s legislature that revolved around a 300-page report saying the Canadian company was damaging the environment and stealing the country’s riches.

“The report makes a number of allegations including claims of substantial environmental damage by Kumtor,” said Centerra’s President and CEO, Ian Atkinson, in a news release.

“Judging from its summary conclusions, however, Centerra believes that the report’s findings are without merit,” he added.

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