Some Centerra Gold employees have been moved to temporary work locations after a large section of the Kumtor project’s principal waste-rock dump experienced greater than anticipated rate of movement.
In the December 2012 Kumtor technical report, the Davidov Valley waste-rock dump movement required relocation of certain mine infrastructure including workshops, administrative facilities and electrical substations. The company has expedited the relocation of infrastructure to ensure continued safe operations and planned gold production to date has not been affected.
As a result of this increase in movement, Centerra Gold has discontinued depositing waste-rock on the affected portion of the Davidov dump. For the interim, the company is placing waste-rock on permitted sites unaffected by the movement. An alternative long-term waste-rock dumping plan is being finalized and approval from the relevant Kyrgyz regulatory authorities and external engineering advisors will be expedited.
The government has established a special commission to visit the Kumtor mine site and inspect the waste-rock dump movement.
Centerra’s president Ian Atkinson says it’s crucial the alternative plan is put into action as soon as possible. “While the company expects that it will be able to develop alternative plans that will permit the mine to continue planned operations and that such alternative plans will receive prompt regulatory approval from the Kyrgyz authorities, the company cannot give assurances in this regard. In the event that an alternative plan cannot be developed or approved promptly we would expect a negative impact on mine operations, production and financial results.”
Last year, the Kumtor mine complex was at the centre of a government dispute about continuing operations and environmental issues.