BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan (AP) -- Toronto-based mining company Centerra says output this year at its key gold mine in Kyrgyzstan could fall short of previous targets by up to almost 40 percent.
Centerra said in a statement Tuesday that a 10-day work stoppage in February by striking laborers at the Kumtor mine exacerbated the buildup of ice and waste, preventing access to higher grade ore.
The company says gold output in 2012 could drop to a low of 390,000 ounces, down from an earlier upper forecast of 625,000 ounces.
Kumtor accounts for almost 12 percent of the economy in this struggling former Soviet nation on China's western border.
Centerra, which is one-third owned by Kyrgyzstan's government, warned that any further labor disputes could have a significant impact on output estimates.