More protests at Kyrgyz gold mine

June 28, 2013 at 6:51 AM

BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan, June 28 (UPI) -- Hundreds of protesters in a village in northern Kyrgyzstan called on the government to nationalize the Kumtor gold mine, the largest in the country.

Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev in May declared a state of emergency in the Jety-Oguz district hosting the mine after thousands of demonstrators clashed with area police. At least one demonstrator died and 30 other people were injured in the melee.

Operator Centerra Gold, headquartered in Canada, said protesters disrupted the power supply to the Kumtor mine. Mining operations were suspended briefly as protesters blocked the mine access road.

Some 500 protesters turned up Thursday demanding the government cancel any of the agreements it has with Centerra, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported. The government, meanwhile, said it wants higher taxes imposed on the company while protesters laid out their demands for greener mine infrastructure.

There was no public statement on the protests from Centerra. The company is scheduled to issue its earnings report for the second quarter Aug. 1

The mine is one of the country's largest sources of revenue.

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