FILE – On this Tuesday, July 22, 2014, file photo, gold bars are stacked in a safe at the United States Mint, in West Point, NY THE CANADIAN PRESS / AP-Mike Groll
Canadian miner Centerra Gold Inc. says the Kyrgyz Republic is preparing to set up external management at its Kumtor gold mine in the Central Asian country after “effectively taking control” of the operation during the weekend.
In a press release, he warns of the possibility of a large impact or loss of his entire investment in the mine, which produced 90,169 ounces of gold in the first quarter.
In support, Foreign Minister Marc Garneau and Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, issued a joint statement on Monday indicating that Canada is “very concerned” by the situation. .
“This will potentially have considerable consequences for foreign direct investment in the Kyrgyz Republic,” they said.
“Canada is also disappointed that this dispute between foreign investors and the government of the Kyrgyz Republic could not be resolved transparently by the parties working together. “
Centerra said it no longer controlled the gold mine and could no longer ensure the safety of employees or mine operations, although all major mine security, monitoring and operating systems were functioning properly. before control is lost.
He said he suspended the access of all local employees of Kumtor Gold Co. in the Kyrgyz Republic to its global computer systems to prevent unauthorized intrusion.
“The action taken today by the parliament of the Kyrgyz Republic is a flagrant violation of the rights of Centerra and KGC in the Kumtor mine as well as of the government’s obligations to Centerra and KGC under investment agreements of long time, ”Centerra said in a statement Monday.
“This action and other recent actions have no justification under these agreements or under applicable law. “
Ongoing disagreements with the Kyrgyz government led Centerra to report a series of developments last week that it said were part of a concerted effort to force it to relinquish economic value or ownership of the Kumtor mine or to wrongly justify a nationalization of the mine.
He said on Sunday he had initiated binding arbitration against the government to prevent it from passing the new law allowing it to appoint a new management, or pursuing fines and recently acquired tax claims against the mine that violate its investment agreements.