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Centerra In Talks With Kyrgyzstan Over Out-Of-Court Settlement In Mine Dispute.

BISHKEK -- Centerra Gold has confirmed it was in talks with Kyrgyzstan’s government about an out-of-court settlement over a dispute related to the Canadian company's Kumtor gold mine.

The mine has been at the center of financial and environmental disagreements for years and is currently the subject of an ongoing battle for control between the Kyrgyz state and Centerra.

In a statement on January 3, Centerra laid out a framework for any resolution of the dispute, saying it should receive approximately 26.1 percent of its common stock held by the state-owned company Kyrgyzaltyn.

Among other things, it said the Kyrgyz state should also assume "all responsibility" for Centerra’s two Kyrgyz subsidiaries, as well as the Kumtor mine.

The previous day, Kyrgyz President Sadyr Japarov said that "good progress has been made in the negotiation process" with Centerra.

“The parties are finalizing the discussion of an amicable agreement, including...the condition for the full transfer of the Kumtor Gold Company to the Kyrgyz Republic," he said.

Last year, Centerra kicked off arbitration against the Central Asian country after it took over the country's biggest mine in May for allegedly endangering human lives, the environment, and causing other significant damage -- which the company denies.

Many Kyrgyz lawmakers have expressed concern about an alleged lack of transparency at Kumtor since the Kyrgyz government took control of the gold mine.

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