Lucrative Kyrgyz mine stirs up violence again
Author: RIA Novosti, Published on: 8 October 2013
...Violence flared...in Kyrgyzstan in the latest bout of protests over a controversial Canadian-owned gold mine that for years has been a target of political wrangling and extortion schemes. Hundreds of protesters who gathered in front of a government building in Karakol...reportedly demanded the nationalization of the country's largest gold-mining enterprise, the Kumtor Gold Company. The rally, which started rather peacefully in the afternoon, turned into violent clashes between protesters and riot police as the evening descended...Kyrgyz media reported that despite police efforts the violence continued into the late hours of Monday with rioters threatening to storm the government building. The Canadian-run Kumtor gold mine is the largest in Central Asia...Under a 2009 agreement, the Kyrgyzstan government acquired one-third of Centerra. Centerra’s subsidiary, Kumtor Operating Company, is the largest revenue earner for Kyrgyzstan’s national budget...Kyrgyz opposition...insists that the government’s stake in the mine should be no less than 70 percent. Violent protests over Kumtor...have flared up sporadically in the region in the past.