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Kyrgyz Gold Mine Under Government Scrutiny

  • RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service

BISHKEK -- A Kyrgyz government commission is looking into potential problems that could be caused by moving waste heaps at the country's biggest gold mine.

The commission arrived at the Kumtor mine on May 3, a day after President Almazbek Atambaev's order "to immediately evaluate the situation."

The presidential press service said that the commission will also look into whether the Toronto-based company Centerra Gold has properly addressed issues related to environmental protection and workers' safety.

In February, the Kyrgyz parliament gave the government three months to renegotiate the terms of a 2009 financial agreement on Kumtor.

The deal granted Centerra Gold a low tax rate that officials now say deprives the state budget of millions of dollars in revenue.

Kyrgyzstan's political opposition has been demanding the nationalization of Kumtor.
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