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Investment in geological exploration, extension of Kumtor mine life planned

It was decided to resume investments in geological exploration at Kumtor mine.

According to the Public Relations and Media Department of the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic, Prime Minister Sapar Isakov met the day before with the Director of Centerra Gold Inc. Scott Perry. They discussed the prospects of the company’s development and expressed interest in deepening cooperation. The head of government noted that the Kyrgyz Republic and Centerra Gold Inc. are consistently fulfilling the terms of the strategic agreement, signed on September 11, 2017.

Scott Perry said that Kumtor Gold Company has done a great job in implementing all the recommendations of AMEC, which was engaged by the Kyrgyz government as an independent international consultant to improve the environmental situation around the Kumtor mine.

Recall, under the new agreement, the annual environmental payment has been increased from $310,000 to $ 3 million.

Data of the Government’s Executive Office

Sapar Isakov touched upon the issue of extending the life of the mine, which, according to experts and all official documents, is left to work not more than 8-10 years. Scott Perry confirmed the company’s intention to invest additional funds (about $ 25 million) in further geological exploration to extend the mine’s life. The company provides jobs to about 5,000 local specialists and is the largest taxpayer in the private sector.

«Since 2012, we have not invested in geological exploration due to the fact that there was some disagreement between the Kyrgyz government and the company. After signing of the new agreement, we decided to resume investments in geological exploration,» Scott Perry said.

He added that the composition of the top management of the company had been changed.

Currently, there are three Kyrgyz citizens out of five managers. Kyrgyzstanis are invited as specialists to Centerra Gold Inc. objects in other countries also.

Sapar Isakov stressed the importance of expanding the mineral resource base. He noted that at present the possibility of creating a new joint venture with Kyrgyzaltyn OJSC on a parity basis for the fields, located outside the concession areas of the mine, is being considered. Scott Perry said that Centerra Gold Inc. would provide all-round assistance on this initiative. He also informed Sapar Isakov about the company’s work, which would be completed by the end of the year and concerns modernization of production to increase the amount of extracted gold. This will have a positive effect on the total volume of production, revenue, tax and other mandatory payments from the company.