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Centerra Gold brings additional claims in Kumtor Mine arbitration

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Global Mining Review,

Centerra Gold Inc. has brought additional claims against the government of the Kyrgyz Republic in binding arbitration and asserted claims against the state-owned entity Kyrgyzaltyn JSC in response to its expropriation of the Kumtor Mine.

According to the company’s latest statement, among other relief, Centerra’s amended Notice of Arbitration seeks to hold the Kyrgyz government and Kyrgyzaltyn JSC responsible for any and all losses and damages that result from their coordinated campaign to seize the gold mine in violation of longstanding investment agreements and without compensation to Centerra.

The amended notice adds claims against Kyrgyzaltyn JSC, the gold refining monopoly in the Kyrgyz Republic and Centerra’s largest shareholder. It asserts that Kyrgyzaltyn JSC conspired with the Kyrgyz government to take control of the mine under the guise of temporary ‘external management’ and continues to act at the behest of the government with regard to the operation of Kumtor and its shareholding in Centerra.

Scott Perry, President & Chief Executive Officer of Centerra, comments:

“Rather than honour its commitment to arbitrate any disputes in a transparent manner in a neutral forum, the government and those acting in concert with it have proceeded to expropriate the Kumtor Mine, placing Centerra’s investment and the livelihoods of thousands of Kyrgyz workers at risk. Centerra would much prefer to resolve this dispute in a constructive dialogue with the Kyrgyz authorities, but their repeated refusal to engage leaves us no choice but to seek effective remedies through arbitration and other legal means.”

As previously announced in May 2021, Centerra has initiated binding arbitration against the Kyrgyz government in response to actions taken against the company’s wholly owned subsidiary Kumtor Gold Company (KGC), including meritless fines and tax claims as well as legislation providing for its operations to be placed under ‘external management’. The amended notice asserts additional claims arising from the seizure of the mine and seeks to enjoin the respondents from any further actions to nationalise the mine or transfer KGC’s assets.

Under applicable investment agreements, Centerra’s claims will be adjudicated by a single arbitrator in arbitration proceedings to be held in Stockholm, Sweden, and conducted under the rules of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL). Under the agreements, the governing law is the law of the State of New York. Centerra has requested that the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague designate an appointing authority to select an arbitrator promptly.

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