- April 08, 2010
SHAREHOLDERS in a clutch of junior explorers will today be watching events in the central Asian republic of Kyrgyzstan with great interest - or, possibly, with trepidation.
There has been severe political unrest in the capital, Bishkek, overnight with conflicting reports as to whether the government is still controlling the country. Certainly many people have been killed, possibly 100 or more.
Australian explorers have been keen on this country for some time - it is known to contain uranium (it being the first source of yellowcake when the Soviet Union went nuclear after World War II) and has great promise with gold, base metals, geothermal and hydrocarbon. And, it must be added, the uprising may be shortlived, a new government may well ensure that resources companies are unaffected and most of the projects are located well away from the capital and strife
But this surge of political risk couldn’t have come at a worse time for Kentor Gold which is on the brink of giving the green light to its Andash copper gold development.
Others affected include Caspian Oil & Gas which has a large acreage position around the Fergana Basin, an area which has been supporting oil production the early 1900s. In late February CIG announced that its joint venture partner in Kyrgyzstan,Santos, had decided to withdraw after spending $US16 million on the project. Caspian is now looking for a new JV partner.
And it was just last week that Manas Resources announced some very encouraging gold drilling results from its Shambesai project in the central Asian republic.
But there are a couple of juniors that will be thinking they dodged a bullet.
Panax Geothermal has effectively wound back work in the country while it awaits news on its application for World Bank financing, Ram Resources last year handed over its Kyrgyzstan interests in lieu of debt to its former Canadian partner, while Namibian Copper last year kicked the tyres on two uranium projects before deciding that Africa was a better bet.