Despite Kyrgyz Political Turmoil, Kumtor Mine is Fine

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Interim government leader Roza Otunbayeva assures investors "that the Kyrgyz Republic will continue to observe all of its obligations."

Notwithstanding the April uprising that killed 80 people, the continuing unrest in the southern part of the Kyrgyz Republic, an interim government now running the nation, a pending constitutional referendum, and upcoming parliamentary elections, Centerra Gold executives say Central Asia's largest gold mine has been operating just fine these past few months.

Interim government leader Roza Otunbayeva, a long-time diplomat well versed in the western business culture, has repeatedly assured the local business community and foreign investors "that the Kyrgyz Republic will continue to observe all of its obligations and will be working to create adequate conditions in order that the investors might feel confident and develop their businesses in the country," Lang said.

The Interim Government also adopted an Investment Protection Decree, guaranteeing security of foreign investments in the Kyrgyz economy.

During an uprising in the country in early April, the Kumtor gold mine, located in a remote, rural area of Kyrgyzstan did not experience interruptions, blockades or any other problems one might normally associate with national political turmoil. Despite being in embroiled in a government overthrow and hastily forming their own opposition government, Lange and Pearson said the opposition party officials worked quickly to resolve Kumtor's financial logistical problems.

Within two weeks, Centerra's money and gold were flowing across borders. Lang emphasized that Centerra is well aware of the importance of Kumtor for Kyrgyzstan "as it provides jobs for more than 2,500 Kyrgyz citizens as full-time employees and a further several thousand as contractors for those employed in related businesses."

Kumtor employees are paid 10 times the average national wage in the country, and that the mine pays a 14% revenue-based tax.

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