28 May 2024 15:48

Kumtor gold mine earns Kyrgyzstan $300 mln in 2.5 years

BISHKEK. May 28 (Interfax) - The Kumtor gold mine has earned $300 million for Kyrgyzstan the past two and a half years, Kyrgyz Prime Minister Akylbek Japarov said on Tuesday.

"Dividends received from Kumtor from 1994 to May 2021 amounted to $100 million, and over the past two and a half years we have made a profit of $300 million," Japarov said at a forum in Bishkek dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the Kara-Kyrgyz Autonomous Region's establishment.

"We can say for sure that, thanks to our good work, a new era has begun in the financial sector of Kyrgyzstan," he said.

Kumtor is one of the largest gold mines in Central Asia, located in the Issyk-Kul region in the north of Kyrgyzstan, 60 km from the border with China at an altitude of more than 4,000 meters.

Kumtor was one of the largest foreign investment projects in Kyrgyzstan. The mine was owned by the Canadian company Centerra Gold Inc., which operated it through its subsidiary Kumtor Gold Company under a 2009 agreement with the Canadian government.

In May 2021, Kyrgyzstan transferred the mine under its own control, citing environmental concerns and tax claims. Centerra initiated international arbitration to challenge the actions of the Kyrgyz government, and Kumtor Gold Company filed for bankruptcy. After signing a settlement agreement with Kyrgyzstan, Centerra dropped all claims against the republic.

The Kyrgyz government terminated external management at the mine in February 2023. Kumtor is currently a subsidiary of the state-owned OJSC Kyrgyzaltyn.

The mine had been producing 15-17 tonnes of gold annually until 2021 inclusive. It produced 17.3 tonnes in 2022.