Centerra became a publicly listed company in June 2004, after its Initial Public Offering listing on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol "CG". In 1992 Cameco Corporation, formerly Centerra's largest shareholder was exploring for uranium and gold prospects in the Kyrgyz Republic, accepted an opportunity to follow up on a 1978 gold discovery at Kumtor that took place when the Kyrgyz Republic was part of the former Soviet Union. A final agreement for project development was concluded with the Kyrgyz Republic in 1994 under which Cameco acquired a one-third interest in the Kumtor Gold Company. Project construction began in late 1994 and commercial production in the second quarter of 1997. Since inception, the mine has produced between 300,000 and 750,000 ounces of gold annually.

In March 2002, Cameco Gold acquired an initial 52% interest in Australian gold company AGR Limited, which owned 95% of the Boroo gold mine in Mongolia, and as part of the transaction, transferred a 61% interest in the Gatsuurt exploration property, also in Mongolia, to AGR. Following the acquisition of its initial interest in AGR, Cameco Gold increased its interest in AGR to 56% by funding $3 million of additional exploration activities at the Boroo and Gatsuurt properties. The company acquired the remaining interest in AGR during June 2004. The development of the Boroo mine was financed by a $70 million loan from Cameco Gold. The Boroo mine started commercial operations on March 1, 2004 and produced 245,000 ounces of gold in 2004.

Cameco continued to manage these assets through its wholly owned Cameco Gold Inc. On January 5, 2004, Cameco Corporation and the Kyrgyz Republic announced their agreement to transfer all of Kumtor Gold Company to a new jointly owned Canadian company called Centerra Gold Inc., which included 100% of Cameco Gold's assets.

On April 24, 2009 Centerra negotiated a New Terms Agreement between Centerra, the government of the Krygyz Republic and Cameco Corporation, this Agreement was signed in June 2009, and Centerra announced that as part of the closing, it issued from treasury 18,232,615 common shares of Centerra to the government of the Kyrgyz Republic, which brought the total shares issued and outstanding for Centerra to 234,772,566. Cameco also agreed to transfer to the government of the Kyrgyz Republic between 14.1 and 25.3 million common shares of Centerra.

On December 8, 2009, Cameco announced it intended to dispose of all its 113,918,472 common shares of Centerra by selling 88,618,472 common shares of Centerra through a syndicate of underwriters led by CIBC World Markets Inc. and RBC Capital Markets, in an agreement entered in with a syndicate of underwriters as a bought deal. Concurrently with the closing of this offering it would also transfer 25,300,000 common shares of Centerra to Kyrgyzaltyn JSC.

On December 30, 2009, Cameco completed its sale of Centerra's shares in a public offering of 88,618,472 common shares of Centerra at a price of C$10.25 per share, for net proceeds of approximately $872 million. At the same time Cameco transferred 25,300,000 common shares of Centerra to Kyrgyzaltyn JSC pursuant to the Agreement on New Terms of April 24, 2009. Upon completion of closing the public offering and share transfer to Kyrgyzaltyn JSC, Cameco disposed of its entire interest in Centerra.

On October 20, 2016, Centerra Gold acquired Thompson Creek Metals Company for US$1.03 billion. With this acquisition the Company favourably repositioned its geographic profile by adding a world class, long life, low cost producing mine located in Canada, the Mount Milligan gold copper mine in British Columbia. Also included in the acquisition were the Endako and Thompson Creek primary molybdenum mines in British Columbia and Idaho, respectively, and the Langeloth Metallurgical Facility in Pennsylvania, USA.

In January of 2018, Centerra Gold completed the acquisition of AuRico Metals Inc. for approximately C$310 million. With this acquisition the Company acquired the Kemess property in British Columbia, Canada; a low-cost brownfield development asset that is host to the feasibility-stage Kemess Underground deposit and preliminary economic assessment level Kemess East projects. Also acquired was a high-quality, free-cash flow generating royalty portfolio which includes a 1.5% net smelter return (“NSR”) royalty on the Young-Davidson gold mine in Ontario and a 2.0% NSR royalty on the Fosterville mine in Australia.

On October 12, 2018 Centerra Gold sold its Mongolian business unit (including the Boroo project and related infrastructure as well as the Gatsuurt development property) to OZD ASIA PTE Ltd., a private Singapore based company.