Canada’s Centerra Gold Inc on Monday said Kyrgyzstan units Kumtor Gold Co and Kumtor Operating Co have commenced bankruptcy proceedings in a U.S. court following nationalization of the miner’s Kumtor gold mine by the former Soviet republic.
Centerra said the Chapter 11 filing would have no financial or operational impact on it or any other areas of its business, including the Mount Milligan mine in Canada, the Oksut Mine in Turkey and its molybdenum business in North America.
Kumtor, Kyrgyzstan’s largest foreign investment project, was operated by Centerra. However, the government of the Central Asian country seized the mine, prompting the Canadian miner to seek redress in an international court.
Kyrgyz lawmakers in early May passed a law giving the state power to temporarily take control of the mine and appoint “external management” to address alleged environmental and safety problems.
Centerra said bankruptcy proceedings would prevent further efforts by the Kyrgyz government to strip Kumtor Gold of its assets or otherwise “improperly dispose” of the Kumtor mine in violation of its investment agreements with the company.