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Kyrgyz Parliament May Revoke Gold Mine License

Trucks load ore at the Kumtor gold mine
BISHKEK -- Kyrgyzstan's parliament is debating whether to revoke the operating license of a foreign-owned gold-mining company following accusations that the firm has been damaging the environment.

On June 21, parliamentary deputies who support revoking the license accused the Kumtor Operating Company of being run inefficiently.

The debate among lawmakers is being held after a parliament committee published a report detailing a series of alleged violations by the Canadian-owned company.

Company officials have denounced the report as "grossly inaccurate."

In February, workers at the mine staged a strike for improved social benefits.

The Canada-based company Centerra fully controls the mine's operations.

Activity connected to operations at Kumtor, which is one-third owned by Kyrgyzstan's government, has been estimated to account for almost 12 percent of the economy in Kyrgyzstan.
With reporting by AP