Kyrgyzstan pressing ahead with removing Centerra from Kumtor

Kumtor is Kyrgyzstan’s biggest industrial enterprise, providing employment to more than 4,000 people. (Image courtesy of Kumtor Gold.)

Kyrgyzstan has established enough evidence to press on with removing Canada’s Centerra Gold from the Kumtor gold mine, the state security service and prosecutors said on Wednesday.

The security service is investigating possible corruption in the deal that gave Centerra control over the country’s biggest gold mine and subsequent amendments to the pact.

It said on Wednesday it has established enough facts to press ahead with annulling the deal.

A spokesperson for Centerra referred Reuters to prior statements in which the company described the seizure of the mine as unjustified and illegal and dismissed the Kyrgyz allegations as false.

Centerra Gold this week said it had recognised a $926-million loss on the change of control and included the Kumtor Mine in its discontinued operations.

Read more: Centerra’ financially strong’ three months following Kumtor nationalization

The government seized control over Kumtor in May in a move challenged by Centerra Gold through international arbitration.

“While we continue to pursue all measures necessary to protect the company’s rights related to the Kumtor mine, in arbitration and in other legal proceedings, the company has consistently stated that it remains willing and available to engage with the Kyrgyz government in a constructive dialogue on the matters it considers to be the subject of dispute,” the spokesperson said.

(By Olga Dzyubenko and Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by Louise Heavens and Jason Neely)

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