Centerra Gold in talks with Kyrgyz Republic over ownership of Kumtor mine

TORONTO – Centerra Gold Inc. (TSX:CG) says it’s in talks with the government in Kyrgyzstan about a new ownership arrangement for its Kumtor gold mine following violent protests and calls to nationalize the operation.

A government company currently owns about one-third of Centerra, the Toronto-based company that operates the mine where protesters blockaded a key access road and cut power last week.

Centerra says the two sides are considering a swap to shift ownership of Kumtor from the company to a joint venture with the government.

It says the government’s Kyrgyzaltyn JSC would exchange its stake in Centerra for a stake of equivalent value in the new joint venture.

Centerra says it expects a “constructive dialogue” but added there’s no assurance that the two sides can reach an agreement.

In addition to Kumtor, Centerra owns the Boroo mine and Gatsuurt development property in Mongolia.