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Kumtor Gold Bankruptcy



HLF has been retained by an essential supplier in the recently filed Kumtor Gold mine bankruptcy pending in the Southern District of New York. The mine is the largest employer in Kyrgyzstan and a very important source of revenue for the country. In May, 2021 the Kyrgyz Government took over operations at the mine which was developed in the early 1990’s, and until the takeover, run by Centerra Gold, a Canadian public company. Centerra has alleged that the supposedly temporary takeover is, in fact, an expropriation. Kyrgyz President Sadyr Japarov has claimed that the takeover was a necessary move to remedy environmental and safety violations – principally significant glacial erosion and pollution and diversion of water from the Naryn River. On the other hand, the Kyrgyz Government is not looking to close the mine for those reasons. The substantive issues are subject to arbitration in Stockholm. Many procedural issues in connection with the bankruptcy filing are novel.