Centerra Gold Responds to Latest Developments in the Kyrgyz Republic
TORONTO, May 17, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Centerra Gold Inc. (“Centerra”) (TSX: CG) (NYSE: CGAU) issued the following statement today in response to the adoption of a resolution by the Parliament
of the Kyrgyz Republic, instructing the Government to install “external management” at the Kumtor Mine and Centerra’s Kyrgyz subsidiary, Kumtor Gold Company (“KGC”), and associated developments.
The Company understands that the Parliament purported to act under a new law, applicable only to Centerra and KGC, that it passed in a single day on May 6, 2021.
“Today’s action by the Parliament of the Kyrgyz Republic is a clear violation of Centerra’s and KGC’s rights in the Kumtor Mine as well as the Government’s obligations to Centerra and KGC under longstanding investment agreements. This and other recent actions have no justification whatsoever under those agreements or applicable law.
The Kyrgyz Government effectively seized control of the Kumtor Mine over the weekend of May 15 and 16, 2021 by sending Government authorities to the mine, KGC’s office in Bishkek and the homes of several KGC employees. Consequently, Centerra is no longer in control of the Kumtor Mine and can no longer ensure the safety of the mine’s employees or operations. Shortly before the Government took control, all key safety, monitoring and operational systems at the mine were functioning properly. Centerra did not disable any such systems, and the mine was operating without incident. Due to the Government’s unprecedented actions, Centerra has suspended access of all local KGC employees in the Kyrgyz Republic to Centerra’s global IT systems to prevent any unauthorized intrusions into those systems. None of those systems are required to safely operate the mine. The Company urges the Kyrgyz Government to take all measures necessary to ensure the safety of Kumtor’s employees and the mine and to desist from further hostile acts, including document and computer seizures and the intimidation of senior KGC personnel who have been subjected to visits by the security services to their homes and threatened with unjustified criminal action.
We remain willing and available to engage with the Government in a constructive dialogue on the matters it considers to be the subject of dispute. At the same time, the unjustified actions of the Government leave Centerra no choice but to continue to protect its interests and those of its shareholders and KGC through all legal means, including binding international arbitration and otherwise.