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Centerra Gold: Kyrgyz government’s seizure of Kumtor based on false allegations

The Kyrgyz government’s seizure of Kumtor mine is based on false and misleading allegations. The Canadian company Centerra Gold Inc. said in a statement.

In particular, the government has made a number of inaccurate claims related to alleged breaches of environmental and safety standards in the past operation of the Kumtor mine.

These claims are entirely meritless and have no justification under longstanding investment agreements or applicable law.

«Under our management, the Kumtor mine was a world-class facility operated by Kyrgyz citizens to the highest international environmental, safety and engineering standards,» Centerra Gold stressed.

Since the government has put an «external manager» in charge of Kumtor Gold Company (KGC), Centerra is no longer in control of the Kumtor mine and therefore can no longer ensure the safety of the mine’s employees and operations.

The Canadian company also commented on other statements by Kyrgyz officials regarding Centerra Gold Inc. and the mine.

In particular, it was noted that KGC operated the Kumtor mine to international environmental and social standards and its operations carefully adhered to applicable laws and agreements with the Kyrgyz government.

The mine has operated in material compliance with all laws and regulations of the Kyrgyz Republic and in accordance with the 2009 Project Agreements.

The government, including the state agency responsible for the environment, approved mining plans and permits every year and KGC operated the mine accordingly.

The mine’s environmental performance was also audited externally multiple times by, among others, the Kyrgyz government’s environmental consultant, AMEC Foster Wheeler — an internationally recognized consultancy firm. AMEC’s reports confirmed that the Kumtor mine was operated according to international best practice and its recommendations for improvements were implemented by the company.