Kumtor Gold Mine

Cameco Corp.
US$50 million political risk insurance [1]
US$40 million loan [2]
US$40 million loan [3]
US$45 million political risk insurance [4]
$35 million [5]

In May 1998, a company truck spilt a load of sodium cyanide, a chemical used to extract gold, into the Barskoun River, raising the cyanide concentration in the water to 50,000 times the permissible level.[6] In the days following the spill, hundreds, possibly thousands of local residents sought medical attention and several deaths were reported. Thousands were evacuated from the spill area.[7] A study published by Natural Resources Canada [8] concluded that few, if any, significant environmental impacts were generated by the spill - conclusions that were questioned by an independent hydrogeologist.[9]

[1] Moody, Roger. The Risks we Run: Mining, Communities and Political Risk Insurance. International Books. 2005 (hereinafter Moody).
[2] Ibid.
[3] Ibid. The IFC has since divested from the project.
[4] Ibid.
[5] CPP Investment Board Canadian Equity Holdings as of March 31, 2006.http://www.cppib.ca/files/PDF/Canadian_Equity_Holdings.pdf
[6] Moody.
[7] Ibid.
[8] Hynes, T.P. et al. August 1998, Assessment of the Impact of the Spill at Barskaun, Kyrgyz Republic, May 20, 1998. Canmet Mining and Mineral Sciences Laboratories Report MMSL 98-039(CR). As cited in Moran, Robert E., 2000, Cyanide in Mining: Some Observations on the Chemistry, Toxicity and Analysis of Mining-Related Waters: in Proc. Central Asia Ecology-99, Lake Issyk Kul, Kyrgyzstan, June 1999 (hereinafter Moran). http://www.earthworksaction.org/ewa/pubs/morancyanidepaper.pdf
[9] Moran.