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Kyrgyzstan has taken over control of the Kumtor mine.

Canadian miner Centerra Gold has initiated proceedings in the Ontario Superior Court against former board member Tengiz Bolturuk, claiming “flagrant breaches” of his fiduciary duties to the company.

Centerra is seeking to prevent Bolturuk, a dual Canadian and Kyrgyz citizen, from direct or indirect involvement in the management of the Kumtor mine, which was seized by the Kyrgyzstan government.

On Wednesday, the Kyrgyzstan government announced that Bolturuk was the general manager of Kumtor, two days after he resigned as Kyrgyzaltyn nominee from the Centerra board.

Centerra said it had learned that, prior to his resignation from the board, Bolturuk had been in discussions with the Kyrgyzstan government and others planning to seize control of the mine. The information, Centerra said, was not disclosed to the board.n mining company further claimed that, prior to the seizure of the mine, State-owned Kyrgyzaltyn, which holds 26% of Kumtor, attempted to divert $29-million to an unauthorised bank account using a forged payment instruction sent to a third party. It is understood that the transaction was not successful.

On Wednesday, the Kyrgyzstan government justified its seizure of Kumtor, based on concerns regarding its environmental and safety performance.

Centerra CEO Scott Perry dismissed the claims, saying that while under the control of Centerra, Kumtor was operated to international standards of environmental management and occupational health and safety.

“Shortly before the Kyrgyz government took control of the mine, all key safety, monitoring and operational systems were functioning properly. Centerra did not disable any such systems, and the mine was operating without incident,” he said.

Perry charged that Kyrgyzstan officials and Bolturuk were using unjustified claims to deflect attention from the “unprecedented and unprovoked seizure” of Kumtor.