Certerra Gold was established in 2004 to manage the gold assets of the Cameco Corporation and the government of the Kyrgyz Republic. At present, Cameco controls 54 percent of the shares. The government company Kyrgyzaltyn JSC owns 16 percent, 25 percent of the shares are owned by the public, and 2 percent are held by each, the IFC and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. The initial public offering of Centerra Gold in the summer 2004 raised $253 million dollars (CAD). The Toronto headquartered company is currently the sixth largest producer of gold. Its shares are listed under the symbol CG at the TSE. The company falls within the Tier II gold stock grouping.
The main asset of the Centerra Gold is the Kumtor field in the Issyk Kul province of the Kyrgyz Republic. The site was discovered back in 1978 and started operating in 1997. This field contains the second largest gold mine in the world. The site contains some 300 tonnes of gold reserves. Due to the rarefied air at the site, mine workers often fall victims to the altitude sickness. A specialized clinic is constructed to provide timely assistance to the workers. Moreover, the high altitude of the mine location exposes the equipment to winter temperatures reaching -40 C. The facility never stops operating due to concerns that it will be difficult to restart exploitation. Despite the harsh working conditions, the Kumtor site is producing more than 0.67 million ounces of gold per year.
The second gold mine of Centerra Gold, the Boroo Gold Mine, is an open-pit site situated 110 km away from the Mongolian capital Ulaanbaatar. The site started functioning in 2004 and produced 0.245 million ounces of gold by the end of the year. The estimate output for 2009 has been between 0.16 and 0.17 million ounces of gold. However, the mine operating licences of Boroo were recently suspended by the authorities. In addition to the two mining sites, Centerra, together with the Homestake Mining Company, explores the mining possibilities at the REN gold exploration property. The Company also undertakes a feasibility study at the Gatsuurt property close to the Boroo mine.