The deal would have made Bishkek 50-50 partners with the mine's operator, Canada-based Centerra Gold. But on 23 October parliament gave the government until 23 December to reach a deal to increase its stake from the current 33 percent to 67 percent despite Centerra's insistence that it will not accept a minority share.
Outside the mine, located in the northern Issyk-Kul province, protesters continued to demand Kumtor´s nationalization, an increasingly familiar demand over the past year. Though Kumtor accounts for 12 percent of Kyrgyzstan’s GDP, many say Centerra Gold pays too little in taxes and that the country deserves a better deal.
In May, thousands of protesters clashed with police near Kumtor, prompting the government to draft the more lucrative deal for a 50-50 partnership. In renewed protests earlier this month, demonstrators blocked a key highway and briefly took the provincial governor hostage.