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Centerra Gold Inc. is suspending open pit mining at its Oksut project in Turkey in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.

The suspension of work at the project starting March 31 is for an initial period of two weeks.

However, the gold miner says operations at its Kumtor mine in the Kyrgyz Republic and its Mount Milligan operation near Prince George, B.C., continue for the time being.

Centerra says while it has taken steps to mitigate the risks, the COVID-19 pandemic has the potential to significantly disrupt its operations.

The comments came as Centerra reported a fourth-quarter loss of US$12.2 million or four cents per share compared with a profit of US$49.0 million or 17 cents per share in the same period a year earlier.

On an adjusted basis, the company says it earned US$22.3 million or eight cents per share in the quarter ended Dec. 31 compared with an adjusted profit of US$90.8 million or 31 cents per share in the last three months of 2018.

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