Kyrgyz gold mine protest ends

June 3, 2013 at 6:47 AM
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BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan, June 3 (UPI) -- Operations at a gold mine in Kyrgyzstan have returned to normal after protesters lifted a blockade on an access road, operator Centerra Gold said.

Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev lifted a state of emergency declared last week after one demonstrator died and 50 other people were injured during protests at the Kumtor gold mine.

Operator Centerra Gold, which has headquarters in Canada, said power was restored to the facility and the main road to the mine in northern Kyrgyzstan was open.

"The mine and mill have resumed operations as truck convoys are now able to bring supplies and consumables to site and personnel can be moved to and from the mine," the statement said.

The Kumtor mine is one of the country's largest sources of revenue. Kyrgyz Prime Minister Zhantoro Satybaldiyev said he was meeting with operators to resolve ongoing issues at the facility and had "three months to correct the deficiencies," news agency reports.

He said authorities were discussing the creation of a new company to control the mine from a Kyrgyz headquarters.

Satybaldiyev said the protests cost the country around $4 million. Workers at the facility said they wanted a greater share of the company's revenue.

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