Centerra Gold Inc. has announced entering into a non-binding potential restructuring agreement with Kyrgyz Republic and Kyrgyzaltyn JSC officials wherein Kyrgyzaltyn would exchange its 32.7% equity interest in Centerra for a 50% stake in a joint venture (JV) that would own the company’s Kumtor Project.

Centerra would remain the project operator, according to officials, while existing mobile mine equipment, valued at $200 million, would be held by Centerra and capital-leased to the JV for 10 years on commercial terms. In 2026 at the end of the mine plan, Kyrgyzaltyn would enjoy rights to increase ownership to 67% from 50% at fair market value while recovering the gold from the tailings facility for $1.

The deal supercedes a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) proposed in September 2013 and rejected by the Kyrgyz Republic Parliament the following month. The new arrangement propsal, according to company officials, which allows for the restructuring, was delivered to the government on a deadline date of December 23; company officials noted no guarantee of approval exists.