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Kyrgyzstan: Short News Items

Prague, 5 March 1997 (RFE/RL) - A Turkish parliamentary delegation led by speaker Mustafa Kalemly will visit Kyrgyzstan on March 15-17.

The delegation is due to meet with President Askar Akayev, Prime Minister Apas Joumagulov, and the speakers of both houses of parliament, Usup Mukambayev and Almambet Matubraimov. Bilateral relations are expected to be the focus of the talks. Kalemly will address a joint session of the parliament on March 17.

Agreement Signed On Refinement Of Kyrgyz Gold

Jalgap Kazakbayev, director of the Kara-Balta state mining company, told our correspondent in Bishkek today that he and Leonard Homenyuk, president of the Kumtor Operating Company (KOC), signed an agreement on the refinement of Kyrgyz gold at the Kara-Balta complex.

The government is expected to approve the agreement Friday. Kazakbayev says about 12 tons of gold could be refined at the complex this year.

KOC is a joint venture. It was formed by the Kyrgyz government and the Canadian CAMECO corporation in 1993. CAMECO began to develop Kumtor gold deposit in the Issyk-Kul region in 1993 and has built a mining complex at the site. KOC announced last December that the gold could be refined abroad, because the Kara-Balta complex was not ready for it. The Kyrgyz opposition was against moving the gold refinement process abroad and organized several pickets in front of the government building in December and January.

There are believed to be more than 500 metric tons of pure gold in Kumtor, making it one of the biggest gold deposits in the world.