Centerra director steps down, shares fall

Thu Jun 28, 2012 10:21am EDT
 
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(Reuters) - Shares of Centerra Gold Inc (CG.TO: Quote) fell more than 7 percent on Thursday morning after the Canadian miner said a Kyrgyzstan-based independent member of its board had stepped down.

The announcement that Niyazbek Aldashev had resigned came one day after Kyrgyz lawmakers moved to review Centerra's mining contract for its Kumtor gold mine, which is located in a remote region of the Central Asian country.

Kyrgyzstan holds a 33 percent stake in Centerra, while the company retains full ownership of the mine and its output. The government is seeking a larger stake in Centerra and a share of Kumtor's output.

The contract review follows a parliamentary report last week that said Centerra's operations in Kyrgyzstan were damaging the environment and the health of local villagers.

The company said the report is without merit. It insists the Kumtor mine, which produced about 580,000 ounces of gold last year, complies with local and international environmental, health and safety standards.

Aldashev, a Bishkek-based lawyer, was the co-chair of the company's corporate social responsibility committee, according to Centerra's website.

Centerra's shares fell 7.19 percent to C$9.17 on Thursday morning on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

(Reporting by Julie Gordon; Editing by Peter Galloway)