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Karybek Ibraev: Kumtor was not allocated new land for geological exploration

«No new land was allocated to Kumtor for geological exploration. At least 16,000 hectares have been allocated back in 1994 and 1997,» Karybek Ibraev, Deputy Chairman of the State Committee for Industry, Energy and Subsoil Use of Kyrgyzstan, told reporters.

According to him, the territory of Sarychat-Ertash nature reserve is clearly set by a government decree. The information is available. And 16,000 hectares in question have been allocated earlier. In 1994, Kumtor Gold Company received 10,000 hectares for development of Kumtor field. In 1997, the company was provided with other 6,000 hectares for exploration.

«In the 2009 agreement, these areas were combined into one concessional. But the Department of the State Registration Service of Jeti-Oguz district issued documents for the land only in February 2019. These lands are not included in Sarychat-Ertash nature reserve. Geological exploration is currently carried out in the central, northeast and southwest sections. The area is a little more than 1,000 hectares. At least $ 24 million will be invested in geological exploration in the next three years. If the reserves are confirmed and price for gold will be high, operation of Kumtor mine and even its underground mining will be possibly extended,» Karybek Ibraev told.