Monday, July 23, 2012 -
An estimated 78 workers at Kyrgyzstan’s largest gold mine have been hospitalized for food poisoning, while a total of about 170 have been afflicted, local media reported Monday.
It is believed that the culprit is the mine workers’ cafeteria at the Kumtor gold mine, owned and operated by Canadian miner Centerra Gold.
Officials have narrowed down the source of the food poisoning to either milk or fruit, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) reported on Monday.
Workers first began to come down with food poisoning symptoms on Wednesday.
Gross violations of health standards have not been recorded at the Kumtor facility, the country’s health ministry said in a Monday statement.
An estimated 1600 people work at the Kyrgyz mine.
The Kyrgyz government has launched an investigation into the incident.
Revenues from the Kumtor gold mine account for an estimated 10 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). Last month, Kyrgyz lawmakers threatened to nationalize the firm in an effort to obtain a greater percentage of revenue. The Kyrgyz government currently owns a third of the firm.