Kyrgyzstan gold mine workers go on strike

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Feb. 7, 2012, 10:22 a.m. | Russia — by Associated Press
BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan — The operator of the largest gold mine in the Central Asian nation of Kyrgyzstan says workers have gone on strike in a demand for additional payments to a state social fund. Toronto-based Centerra Gold Inc. said in a statement Tuesday that it deems the work stoppage illegal and that their collective agreement is in force until the end of the year.

Centerra produced 585,000 ounces of gold last year at its key Kumtor mine, which accounts for the bulk of the company's global output.

Kumtor mine, which accounts for roughly one-tenth of Kyrgyzstan's economy, has been at the center of several industrial and environmental disputes in this mountainous nation on China's western border.
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