Thursday, June 14, 2012 -
Kumtor Operating Company (KOC), Kyrgyzstan’s flagship gold mining firm, said on Thursday it has implemented a social program aimed at boosting the productivity of local villagers.
KOC said it transferred the first tranche of $128,600 to launch the program targeting villages in two districts of eastern Issyk-Kul province.
“The aim of the project is to combine the efforts of private entrepreneurs and local communities to develop the economic potential of the region through the production of goods from the resources available to them,” read the statement released by the firm, the independent Kyrgyz news agency 24.kg reported.
The project “One village – One Project” will cover 20 villages and some 30 communities in an initiative that will last to March 2013.
Villagers will decide by themselves what product they are willing to make, the report said.
The initiative will provide training in marketing and business and provide the program’s participants with an opportunity to sell their goods from an outlet at nearby Karakol city.
The miner will transfer a second tranche of an equal sum in the third quarter of this year.
Kyrgyzstan’s mining firms have begun implementing social programs following a series of industrial actions taken against them by local residents in the last year.
The disputes have erupted over environmental concerns and complaints that local communities are not getting due benefit from nearby mining companies that are key drivers of the country’s economy.