The State Commission Report recommends that the Kyrgyz Government open negotiations under which the Kumtor Project is governed, including requiring Kumtor to accept the current tax regime and pay higher environmental charges; changes in the management of Kumtor and Centerra including greater representation by Kyrgyzaltyn on the Centerra board of directors and greater representation of Kyrgyz citizens in management of the Kumtor Project; and recommendations for additional charges and fees to be paid by the Kumtor Project including for land use, and for those items raised by SIETS (see disclosure below regarding environmental claims received by Kumtor Project). The State Commission Report also recommends various actions to be taken by Kyrgyzaltyn, by the Kyrgyz Government, including revisions to Kyrgyz law, and the Kyrgyz Republic General Prosecutor's Office with respect to investigating the personal liability of parties who were involved in negotiating previous agreements governing the Kumtor Project for violations of Kyrgyz legislation and for inflicting losses to the Kyrgyz Republic's interests. The State Commission recommended the establishment of a working group to give effect to the recommendations, in particular the opening of negotiations with Centerra and Kumtor.
The Company received the final copy of the State Commission Report on January 18, 2013. The Company believes that the conclusions and claims in the State Commission Report are exaggerated or without merit. While the Company has responded in detail in writing to such conclusions and claims, it also makes the following general responses:
(i) The Company operates in accordance with Kyrgyz and international standards, and this has been proven over the years in systematic audits by Kyrgyz and international experts. In particular, in August 2012, the Safety, Health and Environment Committee of the Board of Directors of Centerra engaged an independent internationally recognized consultant to carry out a due diligence review of Kumtor's performance on safety, health and environmental matters. The report issued in October 2012 concluded that "no major or materially significant environmental issues were identified".(ii) The Kumtor Project Agreements provide for a full regime of all payments to the Kyrgyz Government including a comprehensive revenue- based tax and specified fees and payments for other matters including environmental charges. The Kumtor Project Agreements were negotiated at arm's length, and reviewed and approved by the Kyrgyz Government and its Parliament. The agreements were the subject of a positive decision by the Kyrgyz Constitutional Court and a legal opinion of the Kyrgyz Republic Ministry of Justice. The Company believes these agreements are legal, valid and enforceable obligations of the parties.(iii) Centerra, Kumtor and the Kyrgyz Government, among other parties, entered into a release agreement (the Release Agreement) on June 6, 2009, as part of Kumtor Project Agreements. The Release Agreement provides that parties agreed to release each other from any claims, including any legal, tax and fiscal matters, in respect of any matter arising or existing prior to June 6, 2009, whether such matters were known or unknown as of June 6, 2009, subject to certain exemptions which are not applicable in the circumstances. Accordingly, the conclusions and recommendations relating to alleged wrong doings prior to June 6, 2009, including matters relating to the 1993 Master Agreement and the 2003 Restructuring Agreement, have been released by all parties.