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. 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. A study published by Natural Resources Canada  concluded that few, if any, significant environmental impacts were generated by the spill - conclusions that were questioned by an independent hydrogeologist.
 Moody, Roger. The Risks we Run: Mining, Communities and Political Risk Insurance. International Books. 2005 (hereinafter Moody).
 Ibid. The IFC has since divested from the project.
 CPP Investment Board Canadian Equity Holdings as of March 31, 2006.http://www.cppib.ca/files/PDF/Canadian_Equity_Holdings.pdf
 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