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Consulate of Canada and British Embassy make statement on Kumtor

The Consulate of Canada and the British Embassy in the Kyrgyz Republic issued a joint statement on situation in the mining sector.

«As significant investment partners of Kyrgyzstan, we are concerned about recent developments in the mining sector. We are closely following the developments related to the law on Joint Stock Companies, and the forthcoming extraordinary session of the Parliament of Kyrgyzstan on May 17, at which, as we understand, the MPs will discuss the probable nationalization of Kumtor Gold Company,» the statement says.

The diplomatic missions note that both of these actions, in particular, cause serious concern because of their potentially far-reaching consequences for foreign direct investment in Kyrgyzstan. A transparent and fair business environment is critical to recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

«Measures that affect trade and foreign direct investment will further undermine the already fragile economic livelihoods of the Kyrgyz people. We express our hope that commercial agreements will be respected, and disputes will be quickly and amicably resolved by foreign investors and the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic working together,» the Embassies concluded.

Earlier, the deputies adopted a law allowing imposing external management at the enterprise. In addition, there is a court decision to recover a compensation in the amount of more than $ 3 billion for environmental damage from the company.

Centerra Gold Inc. announced that it became aware of a number of legal and political developments in Kyrgyzstan that may have an impact on the ownership and its rights of Kumtor mine under the revised 2009 project agreements.

Accordingly, the company understands that the adopted law on external management would apply in circumstances where Kumtor Gold Company (KGC) violates certain Kyrgyz laws relating to safety and thereby creates an immediate threat to the life or health of people:

  • Prohibits KGC’s managers from managing the mine (or else face criminal sanctions);
  • And enables the Prime Minister of the Kyrgyz Republic to appoint an external manager to take control of all management activities of KGC, including its bank accounts.
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