Canada announces funds for projects at Centerra mine

TORONTO (miningweekly.com) - The Canadian government will contribute C$270 000 in funding to support social projects near Centerra Gold's Boroo mine site, in north-central Mongolia, International Trade Minister Peter Van Loan announced this week.

Mongolian Prime Minister Sukhbaatar Batbold is in Canada this week, and met with Prime Minister Stephen Harper, as well as Minister Van Loan.

The C$270 000 in funding, which is being contributed through the Government of Canada's Investment Cooperation program, will support environmental and vocational training and community development initiatives at the Boroo mine.

"As Mongolia seeks to develop its market economy after being held back during its long communist rule, there is a potential for strong economic growth," said Van Loan said in a statement.

"Canadian companies have the opportunity to establish strong ties that will lead to long-term economic benefits in Canada and Mongolia."

The two countries are in negotiations towards a foreign investment promotion and protection agreement (FIPA), and announced earlier this week that they had reached new agreements to improve trade and market access and to strengthen both agricultural cooperation and Mongolia's democratic governance and institutions.

At the end of 2009, Canadian direct investment in Mongolia totalled C$601-million. Bilateral merchandise trade between Canada and Mongolia has grown more than 60-fold in the decade between 2000 and 2009, from C$2,6-million in 1999 to C$163,8-million in 2009.

A bilateral FIPA would provide greater predictability and certainty for Canadian investors considering investment opportunities in Mongolia, the Canadian government commented.

"Canada's objective in entering the negotiations is to secure a comprehensive, high-quality agreement that will protect investors by establishing a framework of legally binding rights and obligations."

Centerra operates the Kumtor mine in Kyrgyzstan and the Boroo mine in Mongolia. It also has a second project in Mongolia, called Gatsuurt.

Edited by: Liezel Hill

Source:www.miningweekly.com
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