Prizma’s Independent Assessment of Parliamentary Commission Report on Kumtor Gold Published

Prizma’s independent review of the Kyrgyz Parliamentary Commission Report about Centerra Gold’s Kumtor Mine was published. It focused on seven key environmental issues raised in the Commission's report: (1) Tailings Management Facility and Petrov Lake, (2) ecology and biodiversity, (3) glaciers and water consumption, (4) groundwater and permafrost, (5) environmental management, (6) waste management, and (7) data reliability and transparency. Subsequently, ERM also published its review.

Prizma’s Independent Assessment was informed by the following:

1.            Prizma’s first Independent Assessment of the findings of the previous Interagency Commission. This involved literature searches, and discussions with Kumtor’s and Centerra’s staff and senior management. Prizma also had an opportunity to meet with key members and experts of the Interagency Commission to discuss Prizma’s findings and report in June 2012.

2.            Prizma participated in several mine site visits, including one organized for the previous Kyrgyz Prime Minister Babanov in July 2012 and another arranged for several NGOs in September 2012. Prizma also conducted a visit to Naryn and the independent Alex Stewart Lab in Kara Balta used by Kumtor.

3.            Prizma reviewed additional documents, including a series of international audits, which were also provided by Kumtor to the Kyrgyz Government/State Committee. Prizma also requested and obtained additional updates and clarifications related to two such audits.

Prizma’s report can be downloaded from Kumtor’s website in English and Russian. The English version is also inserted here: Prizma Independent Assessment of Parliamentary Commission Report FINAL (7 MB).

Prizma’s Independent Assessment was completed by Mr. Mehrdad Nazari, MBA, MSc, LEAD Fellow, Senior Corporate Responsibility & ESIA Advisor, and Director of Prizma LLC. In addition, Don Proebstel, PhD, Senior Biodiversity & ESIA Advisor and Associate of Prizma LLC, co-authored the report.

Prizma is an independent consulting practice. Prizma’s expertise includes Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Environmental & Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) and Auditing, Stakeholder Engagement and Sustainability & Reporting, and the application of IFC Performance Standards and similar international benchmarks. Prizma also provides expert witness services in the context of international arbitration.

Subsequently, the Board of Directors of Centerra Gold Inc. also retained ERM, a leading international consultantancy, to conduct an independent assessment of Kumtor's environmental practices. According to Kumtor's media release,  ERM's review and subsequent site visit, which were reported in October, 2012, included an assessment of Kumtor’s environmental performance and practices in the following areas:

• Environmental management system

• Biodiversity

• Waste management

• Water management

• Air emissions and Greenhouse gases

• Closure plan

ERM's’ report concluded “Overall there was no evidence of significant uncontrolled environmental impact or credible risk of future significant environmental impacts, from the current operation under the mitigations and procedures currently in place”.

ERM's report also contains recommendations for further improvement in certain areas where issues were identified and Kumtor management has developed an action plan for such matters and continues to work in cooperation with authorities in that regard. ERM's report can be dowloaded here.

You may also be interested in an article published by, a Soros-funded media outlet: Kyrgyzstan: Bishkek Locks Horns with Key Investor (Jan 28, 2013)