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TORONTO — Scott Perry is going to have his hands full. Perry, 38, has been named the next chief executive of Centerra Gold Inc. He will take over on Nov. 1 from Ian Atkinson, a veteran mining executive who is retiring.
Perry is stepping into one of the toughest jobs in the mining industry, or indeed any industry. Centerra’s flagship asset, the Kumtor gold mine, is located in Kyrgyzstan, where the political environment is as challenging as it gets.
Toronto-based Centerra has faced some massive obstacles over the years, including accusations from Kyrgyz officials that it engaged in international fraud, massive environmental destruction and other criminal acts.
None was ever proven. Len Homeniuk, the company’s founding CEO, got arrested and detained in Bulgaria this year after the Kyrgyz put him on Interpol’s wanted persons list on corruption allegations. Both Centerra and Homeniuk said the claims were nonsense.
Atkinson’s pending retirement was announced back in March, and Centerra’s board went through an extensive search process to find a replacement. It settled on Perry, who checked a lot of the boxes.
He worked for several years at Barrick Gold Corp., where he received strong industry training. He was CEO of AuRico Gold Inc. when it merged with Alamos Gold Inc., so he knows how to complete major mining transactions. And he has experience in Central Asia and Russia from his time at Barrick and Highland Gold Mining Ltd.
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