Centerra keeps Kumtor mine running despite political unrest

The open-pit Kumtor mine is Kyrgyzstan’s largest gold operation. Credit: Centerra Gold

Centerra Gold (TSX: CG) on Tuesday confirmed that operations at its Kumtor mine will continue uninterrupted following the recent political unrest in the Kyrgyz Republic.

The Kumtor mine is located in a remote mountainous location about 430 km by road to the southeast of the national capital Bishkek, which appears to be the centre of the unrest.

However, the company says it is still monitoring the situation to ensure that conditions remain safe to continue to transport people and supplies to the mine site.

The political situation is continuing to evolve, Centerra says, and it is taking all the necessary precautions to ensure the safety of its personnel and operations.

Earlier this week, protestors gathered to denounce the results of Sunday’s parliamentary elections and later took over government buildings in what President Sooronbay Jeenbekov, whose parties dominated the election, described as an attempt to seize power.

As the violence between demonstrators and security forces escalated, the election results were eventually annulled by the authorities.

On the same day, London-based Kaz Minerals suspended production at its Bozymchak copper-gold mine after a reported attack on another gold deposit.

Kumtor is one of the largest gold mines in Central Asia operated by a Western company, having produced more than 12.6 million ounces of gold between 1997 and the end of 2019.

Shares of Centerra Gold plunged 12.2% on the TSX by noon EDT, sending the miner’s market value down to C$4 billion.

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