BISHKEK -- Some 300 people picketed the Kyrgyz government building in Bishkek today to protest mining projects planned for the northern Talas region amid concern the projects could damage the environment, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.
Earlier this month, the Andash Mining Company denied that its plans to develop gold and copper deposits in the Andash valley would harm the environment or the local population. The company also promised not to use toxic cyanide during its operations and to compensate local shepherds for using pastures.
Some residents of Kopuro-Bazar and other villages in the region oppose development of the valley's mineral deposits, which are estimated at up to 20 tons of gold and 70,000 tons of copper. Read in Kyrgyz here