Russia pledges to invest $600mn in joint gold refinery in Kyrgyzstan

Russian President Vladimir Putin has taken part in the opening ceremony of a gold processing plant at the Jerooy mine in northwestern Kyrgyzstan. The project was developed by Russia’s Alliance Group in cooperation with VTB bank.

“The Talassky mining complex is one of the largest joint projects that has been successfully implemented,” Putin said via video link, describing the project as vital for relations between the neighboring states.

According to the president, the project in the Central Asian country will see “record volumes” of investment totaling $600 million.

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“The latest technologies and equipment deployed in the project comply with environmental regulation,” Putin said. “This will enable the enterprise to produce up to five tons of gold per year efficiently, without harm to the environment.”

The former Soviet republic has been trying to develop its second-largest gold deposit since the 1990s. Cooperation with American, Canadian, British and Austrian investors failed to materialize.

Russian companies won the contract back in 2015. By launching the construction of the refinery, Alliance Group accelerated the development of the Jerooy mining project, which reportedly holds around 90 tons of gold and 25 tons of silver.

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The refining plant was expected to start operating last year, but was attacked during unrest preceding the emergence of current president Sadyr Japarov. The attack reportedly caused  more than $10 million in losses for the Russian firms.

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