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Centerra: Kyrgyzstan Launches Legal Proceedings Against Kumtor

  • RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service

Canada-based Centerra Gold Company says Kyrgyz authorities have launched more legal proceedings against its subsidiary, Kumtor Gold Company, and banned several of its expatriate managers from leaving the country.

Centerra said on June 6 that Kyrgyz authorities launched a probe against Kumtor Gold Company’s managers, accusing them of abusing their authority and engaging in transactions that deprived Kyrgyzstan's largest gold field, Kumtor, of its assets.

Bishkek previously legally demanded a $220 million pollution fee from Kumtor Gold.

Centerra said that on June 3 a court in Bishkek granted an interim order against Kumtor Gold to secure the pollution fee claim.

A 2003 deal gave the Kyrgyz government a 17 percent stake ownership in the Kumtor operations, with Centerra controlling the rest.

The agreement was renegotiated in 2009, giving the Kyrgyz government a nearly 33 percent stake.

Bishkek has been demanding a 50-50 split in ownership.