The Company is studying the claim but believes that the allegations contained in the claim are exaggerated or without merit. Centerra's Kumtor Project complies with Kyrgyz Republic laws on environmental, safety and health standards. The Kumtor Project has been the subject of systematic audits and investigations over many years 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" at Kumtor. The review focused on numerous environmental areas, including waste management and environmental management systems. The report can be found on the Kumtor website at http://www.kumtor.kg/en/ under the "Environment" section.
The Company notes that the Kumtor Project Agreements provide a complete listing of all taxes and payments to be made to the Kyrgyz Republic Government, including a fixed environmental charge. Accordingly, no other tax, duties, or other obligations are to be paid to the Kyrgyz Republic, however they may be characterized. Centerra also notes that, as part of the Kumtor Project Agreements signed by Centerra and the Kyrgyz Republic in 2009, the Kyrgyz Republic fully released Kumtor in respect of all prior claims, including in relation to all environmental matters known by or reported to any Kyrgyz authority.
The Company has benefited from a close and constructive dialogue with the Kyrgyz authorities over many years and remains committed to continuing to work with them to resolve these issues in accordance with the Kumtor Project Agreements, which provide for all disputes to be resolved by international arbitration, if necessary. However, no assurances can be given that this claim from SAEF can be resolved without a material impact on the Company. Further claims from Kyrgyz authorities arising from the State Commission review may also be forthcoming. For a discussion on the existing environmental claims issued by Kyrgyz Republic regulatory authorities in December 2012, see the Company's news releases of February 20, 2013 and December 14, 2012.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-looking Information
Information contained in this news release which are not statements of historical facts, and the documents incorporated by reference herein, may be "forward looking information" for the purposes of Canadian securities laws. Such forward looking information involves risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results, performance, prospects and opportunities to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward looking information. The words "believe", "expect", "anticipate", "contemplate", "target", "plan", "intends", "continue", "budget", "estimate", "may", "will", "schedule" and similar expressions identify forward-looking information.
These forward-looking statements relate to, among other things, the successful resolution of matters discussed in the Decree and matters relating to the State Commission report, including discussions with the Government on the Kumtor Project Agreements and the Kyrgyz Parliament and Government not taking any unilateral actions that are inconsistent with the Kyrgyz Republic obligation sunder the Kumtor Project Agreements, the successful resolution of the environmental claim issued by SAEF in the amount of $315 million, and the previously issued environmental claims for an aggregate amount of approximately $152 million.
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