Kyrgyz protesters demand closure of Chinese gold mine

By bne IntelliNews October 23, 2012

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With resource nationalism rising in Kyrgyzstan, over 200 people joined a demonstration on October 22 in the Kemin district calling for Superb Pacific Limited's operations at its gold mine be shut down.

The demonstration took place outside the Chinese mining company's headquarters in Orlovka. Demonstrators claim that Superb illegally fired several Kyrgyz workers, and polluted the local environment, RFE/RL reports.

Kyrgyzstan has recently seen a wave of protests against international mining companies. The most serious was a demonstration led by the opposition Ata-Zhurt party calling for the nationalisation of the country's largest gold mine on October 3. Around 1,000 people joined the demonstration against Centerra Gold's operation of Kutamor, which ended in clashes with police when Ata-Zhurt leader Kamchibek Tashiyev and around 40 supporters attempted to break into the White House - the presidential seat in Bishkek.

In September, around 100 residents of the Jalal-Abad region attacked a workers' camp belonging to Spektr, a construction company building a road to the Charaat gold mine, and seized the company's equipment. They claimed that heavy trucks serving the project had damaged local roads.

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