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men on horseback attack mine

  1. sto
    52 Posts.
    My apologies if my weird humour offends but in this day and age, the idea of horseback riders racing in and firing a mine site made me chuckle.

    Reuters Article: "Men on horseback attack Kyrgyz mining camp" Mon Oct 10, 2011


    Kentor Gold is mentioned Paragraph 10


    * Talas Copper Gold camp attacked for second time

    * Horsemen set fire to buildings, beat security manager

    * Joint venture between Gold Fields and Orsu Metals

    * Acting PM says investor interests must be protected

    By Robin Paxton

    ALMATY, Oct 10 (Reuters) - Men on horseback armed with sticks and petrol bombs attacked an exploration camp in Kyrgyzstan run by South African miner Gold Fields at the weekend, the latest in a series of assaults on foreign miners in the Central Asian state.

    Talas Copper Gold, a joint venture between Gold Fields and Britain's Orsu Metals , said on Monday that its security manager was severely beaten as he fled from a burning building at the exploration camp in Talas province.

    The company said in a statement that the attack occurred in the early hours of Saturday morning. Around 10 horsemen set fire to several buildings, it said.

    "This incident does not appear to follow from any community action but seems to be a premeditated attack by a small group," the company said. It said the security manager was recovering in hospital.

    Kyrgyzstan, a former Soviet republic of 5.5 million people, is preparing to elect its next president on Oct. 30, following a year in which its former leader was overthrown and hundreds were killed in mob violence.

    The latest incident is another warning to foreign investors in Kyrgyzstan's mining sector. Attacks on prospective mining developments have occurred on several occasions since an April 2010 revolution, disrupting attempts by the new government to develop a viable mining industry in the gold-rich republic.

    Omurbek Babanov, who is acting premier of Kyrgyzstan while Prime Minister Almazbek Atambayev runs for president, said the government should take swift action to bring the perpetrators of the attack to justice.

    "Protecting the interests of investors is one of the government's main tasks," he said in a statement issued after the attack.

    Talas Copper Gold, which suffered a similar attack in March, said a criminal investigation was under way and that it would start its new drilling programme in November as planned.

    The company is not the only miner to have been targeted. Australia's Kentor Gold has said supporters of its Andash copper and gold development, also in the Talas province of northwest Kyrgyzstan, have been threatened.

    Employees of a Chinese-owned mining company were beaten in August at a separate development in Naryn province.

    A single gold mine, Kumtor, contributes around 10 percent of Kyrgyzstan's gross domestic product and nearly half of its industrial production. Owned by Toronto-listed Centerra Gold Inc , it produced 7.8 million ounces, or 243 tonnes, from its launch in May 1997 to the end of 2010.

    Prime Minister Atambayev told Reuters in June that the government would weed out corruption in the mining sector to secure the proceeds from many untapped metals deposits.

    Talas Copper Gold has four exploration licences -- Barkol, Taldybulak, Kentash and Korgontash -- and has invested $15 million between 2005 and 2010. It has planned a further $2.5 million of investment this year.
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