US FIRM TO FINANCE KYRGYZSTAN GOLD MINE

US FIRM TO FINANCE KYRGYZSTAN GOLD MINE

A subsidiary of Morrison Knudsen Corp. plans to use most of the proceeds from a stock offering to finance a gold mine in the former Soviet Central Asian republic of Kyrgyzstan.

The information was contained in a stock registration statement filed earlier this month with the Securities and Exchange Commission by MK Gold Co.It said $22 million to $34 million would be spent to develop the Jerooy Gold Project in Kyrgyzstan if a study finds it feasible. The study will be finished in March.

MK announced on Oct. 14 that it was seeking the SEC's permission to sell 8 million shares of MK Gold common stock. The sale is expected to raise about $49 million, and up to $56.6 million if the company's underwriter exercises all of its over-allotment option.

MK formed a partnership earlier this year with the government of Kyrgyzstan, which wants to develop a gold-bearing site 100 miles west of the capital of Bishkek.

If the study proves that the mine should not be developed, MK Gold will use the money for "general corporate purposes," such as exploration, development and the possible acquisition of gold projects.

"As part of its business strategy, the company intends to pursue large gold mining projects throughout the world that are at the advanced exploration stage or development stage," MK's statement said.

Kyrgyzstan is on China's northwest border and the former Soviet Union's southern Asian frontier. The country, roughly the size of Britain, has one of the world's largest gold fields in its mountainous southeast. Cameco Corp. of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, signed a contract last December to start developing the Kumtor gold field.

The Kyrgyzstan government is considered among the most stable in the region. The country is poor, but it has vast mineral and other natural resources. The government hired Arnold A. Saltzman, chairman of Manhattan- based Windsor Productions Corp., a year ago to negotiate development contracts on its behalf.

But some analysts have said the country's remoteness and lack of infrastructure might be too daunting for Western investors.

Robert Ebel of the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C., said earlier this year that any discovery in Kyrgyzstan ''would have to be rather substantial to justify developing it."