Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev has vetoed a law "On glaciers", lobbied by a group of deputies, headed by the member of the SDPK faction Erkingul Imankozhoyeva. However, the group apparently doesn't intend to give up. The parliament created another commission - this time, conciliation one - to overcome a veto. The main argument is that the authors cite in their favor: if the bill is not approved -ecology will suffer and Kyrgyz citizens are threatened with extinction from lack of water. Experts argue that if the document is adopted, the wobbly economy will collapse, and dreams about the development of the mining industry and investment can be buried under its ruins. 24.kg news agency addressed to specialists and deputies to answer, if the devil is not so black as it is painted by the initiators of the document and what will be with the strategic mining sector, if the bill passes.
Valentin Bogtetskiy, the expert:
- This law was designed specifically for Kumtor. But if it is submitted to the chamber in the form in which it is now, and the deputies will vote, it will be a blow to the entire mining industry. Most of the deposits are located at an altitude of 3,000 meters above sea level, in the area of glaciers and permafrost. If the document passes, such mines as Kumtor and Dzherui will just fall out of the development, and we will lose billions of dollars. Therefore, the law can only be accepted with the condition considering the peculiarities of the development of the mining sector.
Aiylchy Sarybayev, the Director of the Institute of Economics and Finance, the Doctor of Economic Sciences:
- In the story of the law "On glaciers" both parties are right - the president and the parliament. Of course, we must take into account the economic aspect, I agree. But, at the same time, if this document is not approved and the deputies don't overcome the veto, than ecology will suffer. Who will compensate the damage? All the companies who come to us with their investments and involved in the development of mines, must obey the laws of Kyrgyzstan. Why Kumtor leadership doesn't switch to the underground method of gold mining, as it is in the world?
Orozbek Duisheyev, the president of miners and geologists association:
- The President vetoed correctly. We have Kumtor, which will stop if this bill is approved. Yes, this document complies with international standards, but, I repeat, already begun development, in particular on Kumtor, can't be ignored. Let the authors of the proposed initiative to add a term that the law won't affect on the production of Kumtor. And then, what is this nonsense that we will lose the glaciers? They will simply be moved in the manufacturing process. Water will also flow into the Naryn River, without changing its bed.
Erkingul Imankozhoyeva, the deputy of parliament:
- The President is being misled by any kind of experts, arguing that in the case of acceptance of the law "On the glaciers" production at the Kumtor will stop. There is nothing about Kumtor in this document. But if we lose the glaciers that, we will lose the future. We demand that when the field development so-called domestic production was carried out and gold wasn't gathered from the surface. Rule of underground mining regulations on Kumtor is prescribed in the parliament. Companies all over the world carry out underground workings. Argentina banned all mine near glaciers and permafrost to ensure environment. We ask only to revise the method of extraction.
Abdykalyk Rustamov, the deputy director of the State Agency of Environment and Forestry:
- There are two articles that contradict each other in this bill. One of them says about the limitation of doing business in the periglacial zone. Other - of its full ban. Moreover, it is necessary to bring the norms of the document in accordance with the Water Code and the Law "On Water". Of course, the glaciers need to be protected. That is one side. On the other, when the law comes into force, it will negatively affect the development of the mining industry, and our economy will suffer. But without strong and sustained economic growth it is impossible to solve problems in the field of ecology. For these purposes, money is needed, everything depends on it.
Eldar Tadzhibayev, the chairman of the Central Committee of the Mining and Metallurgical Workers' Union:
- The deputies understand that one of the reasons likely to stop production on Kumtor may be the adoption of the law "On the glaciers". Since then any production activity on the exploration and development of mineral resources, including in the periglacial environment will be prohibited. For extraction of gold ore the stripping work of excavating the ice on the glacier Davydov must be constantly performed. Otherwise the mine will stop.
Duishenbek Zilaliyev, the head of the State Agency for Geology and Mineral Resources:
- We are not against the law "On the glaciers". But we are against the item, saying about total ban on economy activity in the periglacial zone and permafrost. And one more thing. In February the parliament approved the roster of strategic objects. Five of 21 - deposits. That is, a collision occurs and than arguments follow. That's why I say that the document should be improved. But in general, it is correct.
Kurmat Tashtanaliyev, the Head of the Department of Economics of mining production of Kyrgyz Mining Institute:
- In principle, extraction of natural resources by underground methods is acceptable. Yes, it is an expensive procedure, but it will help us to save our natural resources. In particular, we are talking about glaciers. Most of the deposits are close to the surface of glaciers and snowfields, and therefore closed way of mineral resources development should be applied to prevent their descent.