Hundreds in Kyrgyzstan rally against Centerra Gold mine

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BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan - Several hundred people are rallying in the capital of Kyrgyzstan against a gold mine that has been the source of a series of toxic spills in past years, including a cyanide spill into a river.

Some nationalist politicians, including one of the organizers of today's gathering, Sapar Zhaparov, are demanding the nationalization of the mine.

The protest comes three months after the ex-Soviet country's parliament backed proposals to review the operating licence of the Canadian company developing the Kumtor mine, which accounts for 12 per cent of the economy.

Critics have alleged that Toronto-based Centerra Gold (TSX:CG), which is developing Kumtor, have used accounting tricks to reduce their expenditures.

The company has denied the allegation.

Centerra says its project has generated $1.9 billion in benefits for Kyrgyzstan, including $620 million in taxes.

Organizations: Centerra Gold, TSX

Geographic location: Kyrgyzstan, BISHKEK

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