Centerra Gold drafts deal with Kyrgyzstan on Kumtor mine

Reuters

Dec 24 (Reuters) - Centerra Gold Inc said it had agreed with Kyrgyzstan to swap the government's 32.7 percent stake in the Canadian miner for half of the Kumtor gold mine, in a deal that could end a long-drawn argument over the mine's ownership.

The draft deal is broadly similar to a previous agreement that the Kyrgyz parliament rejected, so it is not immediately clear whether the latest terms would win legislative approval.

Talks have taken place amid riots and opposition calls to nationalize Kumtor, which accounted for 12 percent of Kyrgyzstan's gross domestic product in 2011.

Kyrgyz parliament has demanded that the country hold 67 percent in a joint venture to run the mine, a major foreign-currency earner for the Central Asian nation.

The Kyrgyz government delivered the new draft agreement to parliament on Monday for its consideration, Centerra said in a statement.

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