Four international organizations made a statement on 10 July calling for an independent, third party environmental and safety audit of the Kumtor Gold Mine in Kyrgyzstan after a lethal accident happened at Kumtor on 8 July. Part of a rock collapsed and killed 25-year-old foreman Almaz Jakishev.
It is said in the press release, "Because of the troubled history of the mine and its growing list of potential problems, in addition to the environmental/safety audit, the NGO and civic leader coalition called for the public release of all environmental and safety monitoring data, and public release of all existing information related to planning for reclamation and closure, once the site has been deemed stable and safe."
"Once again we see evidence that publicly funded financial institutions are unable to assure those who live near and work at projects they fund are safe. The lesson here is that public financial institutions should use the leverage that they have to ensure safety and sound environmental practices. Until they do, toxic spills and tragic accidents will continue in the mining sector," said Jozsef Feiler of CEE Bankwatch in Hungary...
RFE/RL Kyrgyz News, July 15, 2002