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UPDATE 1-Kyrgyzstan government shuts Kaz Minerals mine for 3 months
November 2, 2017 / 2:14 PM / 20 days ago

UPDATE 1-Kyrgyzstan government shuts Kaz Minerals mine for 3 months

(Adds details from source; background)

LONDON, Nov 2 (Reuters) - Kazakh miner Kaz Minerals said the government of Kyrgyzstan had suspended operations at its Bozymchak gold and copper mine on Thursday for three months.

The London-listed company said it did not know why the operations had been suspended and the Kyrgyz government did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

“The group believes that Bozymchak is in compliance with its obligations and is in discussions with the relevant authorities to recommence operations as soon as possible,” Kaz Minerals said in a statement.

A source familiar with the situation pointed to political disputes between Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

Some Kyrgyz leaders have accused Kazakhstan, a bigger and wealthier neighbour in central Asia, of interfering in its Oct. 15 election after Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev met a Kyrgyz opposition presidential candidate.

Kaz Minerals operates several copper mines in Kazakhstan as well as Bozymchak in Kyrgyzstan.

Bozymchak produced 7,000 tonne of copper cathode and 38,000 ounces of gold bar in 2016.

Kaz Minerals on Thursday kept its 2017 copper production guidance at 250,000-270,000 tonnes.

Shares of the company fell more than 3 percent after news of the shutdown. (Reporting by Radhika Rukmangadhan and Arathy S Nair in Bengaluru, and Zandi Shabalala in London.; Editing by Mark Potter)

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