Central Asia’s top producing gold mine Kumtor is back in the spotlight, after its major shareholder, Canadian company Centerra Gold’s environmental record was questioned by the Kyrgyz public, domestic activists, and international experts. The controversy surrounding Kumtor has translated into a highly politicized backlash in Kyrgyzstan over a lack of transparency and Centerra’s unwillingness to disclose information on the harmful effect of the mining operations on glaciers. In light of the growing public pressure on Centerra Gold in the republic, one of the Kumtor project’s creditors, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), has come under scrutiny.
Horse trading intensifies as the eleventh hour approaches for the EU to decide on its 2030 climate and energy policy. And while Poland has led an Eastern coalition to resist ambitious targets for Europe, Ondrej Pasek writes that some may be only reluctantly following Warsaw.
Kumtor mine is the largest open pit gold deposit in Central Asia, whose majority shareholder since 2004 has been Centerra Gold, a Canadian mining company. The mine sits at an altitude of 4,000 meters above sea level, in the Tien Shan mountain range and among some of Kyrgyzstan's - and the region's - most important glaciers. These feed into the Naryn (Kyrgyzstan) and Syrdarya (Uzbekistan) rivers. Kumtor's main gold-bearing ore lies under glaciers adjacent to Kyrgyzstan's Sarychat-Ertash state reserve.
Japan’s Marubeni Corporation and France’s Alstom – who have together been chosen as the preferred bidding consortium for the Plomin C* coal power plant project in Croatia – have a poor integrity record including several convictions for corruption offences which should raise alarm bells and increase vigilance among the Croatian public and potential financiers of the project, according to a new paper by CEE Bankwatch Network, published today.
Ukraine’s energy sector faces unprecedented challenges, from a reliance on expensive fossil-fuel imports to inefficient infrastructure and markets. But rather than viewing this as a vulnerability, Ukraine’s energy sector is potentially a low-hanging fruit for reform, notes a new report from the NGO CEE Bankwatch Network.