26 Feb 2024 15:25

Over 13.5 tonnes of gold produced in Kumtor, Kyrgyzstan, last year

BISHKEK. Feb 26 (Interfax) - Some 13.5 tonnes of gold were produced in Kumtor, Kyrgyzstan, last year, Kumtor Gold Company said in an annual report published on its website.

"A total of 13,567 kilograms of gold were produced in Kumtor in 2023. The smaller output results from the low gold content in the mined ore," the company's press service said.

The company sold 13,577 kilograms of gold and posted a net profit of $302.4 million, compared to its $194-million target, in 2023, it said.

"The Kumtor Gold Company's production revenue amounted to $849 million against the $734.2 million target, while capital investment reached $111.5 million compared to $186.1 million in 2022. Two new ultra-fine extraction tower mills and additional leaching vats were commissioned at the Kumtor mine to extract 7,000 to 12,000 ounces of extra gold per year. Workflow optimization and upgraded mining equipment saved over $30 million," the press service said.

Kumtor is a major gold deposit in Central Asia. It is located over 4,000 kilometers above sea level in the Issyk-Kul region of northern Kyrgyzstan, 60 kilometers from the Chinese border.

Kumtor was previously a key foreign investment project in Kyrgyzstan. Canadian Centerra Gold Inc. owned the mine and operated it via the subsidiary Kumtor Gold Company under an agreement signed with the Kyrgyz government in 2009. Kyrgyzstan took control of the mine in May 2021, citing environmental concerns and tax claims as the reason. Centerra initiated an international arbitration procedure to challenge the actions of the Kyrgyz government, and Kumtor Gold Company filed for bankruptcy. An amicable agreement with the government was then signed, and Centerra dropped all of its claims against Kyrgyzstan and withdrew its appeal.

In February 2023, the Kyrgyz government stopped interim external management of JSC Kumtor Gold Company. The enterprise is currently a subsidiary of the state-run Kyrgyzaltyn.

Fifteen to 17 tonnes of gold were produced annually at the mine before 2021. Output reached 17.3 tonnes in 2022.