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Kyrgyzstan Review, 10 years ago

[23.12.2OO2] Kyrgyz 02 gold output seen at 19 T vs 25.6 T 01

Kyrgyzstan's gold output, by far the most valuable export commodity in the impoverished ex-Soviet state, will fall to around 19 tonnes this year from 25.6 in 2001 after an accident at a key mine, a top industry official said on Monday.
The accident, a landslide forced Kumtor - a joint venture between the Kyrgyz state and Canada's Cameco Corp - to stop work temporarily at its mine in the Tien Shan mountains in June.
The International Monetary Fund cut its forecast for 2002 GDP growth to 1.5 percent from 4.5 percent after the landslide.
Dilger Zhaparov, vice president of state-owned gold company Kyrgyzaltyn, told a news conference that gold still accounted for 43 percent of the mountainous Central Asian country's exports, and 40 percent of its industrial production.
Kyrgyzaltyn is the country's gold monopoly, and is responsible for the state's stake in the Kumtor joint venture and all other bullion production.
"Kyrgyzaltyn's production in 2002 will be 1,652 kg (1.652 tonnes), and Kumtor had planned to produce 662,000 troy ounces (20.591 tonnes), but in fact that will now be 550,000 to 570,000 troy ounces (17.11 to 17.73 tonnes), Zhaparov said.
Total gold output will therefore reach the range of 18.8 to 19.4 tonnes, depending on Kumtor's final total, he said.
Next year's output is targeted at 22.8 tonnes, made up of 1.85 tonnes by Kyrgyzaltyn and 672,138 troy ounces (20.91 tonnes) by Kumtor.
Kyrgyzstan is the third largest gold producer in the former Soviet Union, after Russia and Uzbekistan. Most of its output goes to Europe and the United Arab Emirates, Zhaparov said.
(1 troy ounce = 31.10348 grammes)

Reuters, December 23, 2002

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