DUSHANBE, December 22, 2015, Asia-Plus – The Ministry of Industry and New Technologies (MoINT) has denied report that Zeravshan Gold Company (ZGC) allegedly has a 200 million somoni tax debts as “absolutely unfounded.”

Bakhtiyor Sharipov, the head of the Mining and Smelting Industry Department at a MoINT, says the enterprise has been operating and there are no any problems.

According to him, ZGC pays its taxes in proper time without erosion.  “Over the first months of this year, ZGC has paid 155 million somoni in taxes,” Tajik official noted.

Sharipov further added that ZGC paid wages to its employees in proper time.

Asia-Plus has failed to get information from the Tax Committee about the possible tax debts of Zeravshan Gold Company.

Some media outlets reported earlier that ZGC tax debts reached 200 million somoni, and therefore, all the enterprise’s bank accounts were allegedly blocked.  The report also noted that the Tax Committee had temporarily unblocked the ZGC bank accounts and its 2,200 employees had managed to receive their wages for two months.

ZGC is the largest gold producer in Tajikistan and China’s Zijin Mining now owns 75 percent of the shares in Zeravshan Gold Company (ZGC).

ZGC was launched as a joint venture with Nelson Resources Ltd (44%) and the Tajikistan government (51%) and the IFC (5%) in 1994.  In September 2002, Avocet signed a heads of agreement to acquire the Tajik gold assets of Toronto-based Nelson Resources Ltd held through Nelson''s subsidiary, Commonwealth and British Minerals Ltd.  The assets included a 44% interest in Zeravshan Gold.  In November 2004, Avocet increased its equity interest in ZGC from 49% to 75%.

In 2007, Zijin Mining Group Co acquired Avocet’s equity stake in Zeravshan Gold Company.     

Zijin Mining Group Co., Ltd is listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange under the stock code of 2899.  In 2005, its gold production ranked 20th among global gold producers with a yield of 20.96 tons.  Since December 20th 2005, Zijin Mining has been included in the FTSE mine index.  On March 20th 2006, Zijin entered into the Dow Jones Offshore 50 Index.