Mining firms seek Reko Diq compensation in British Virgin Islands High Court

Mining firms seek Reko Diq compensation in British Virgin Islands High Court

The next court date on the matter takes place in early January 2021 in the British Virgin Islands    

The Tethyan Copper Company (TCC) has reached the British Virgin Islands’ High Court of Justice to enforce the $5.97 billion award against Pakistan by the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) in the Reko Diq case. The company is seeking compensation, including assets belonging to the Pakistan International Airlines Investment Ltd (PIAIL), which is also incorporated in the British Virgin Islands.

The government of Pakistan is looking to fight its case in all and all courts of law. The government is also seeking a mutually acceptable settlement.  TCC is a joint venture of Barrick Gold Corporation of Australia and Antofagasta PLC of Chile.  Reko Diq district is located in the southwest of Balochistan and is well-known for its mineral wealth, including gold and copper.

The current stay was given to TCC without Pakistan’s representation in court on December 16. However, Pakistan’s legal team will represent the country in the next court hearing on January 7, 2021.

“Without prejudice to such engagements, Pakistan has reiterated that the government will vigorously pursue proceedings initiated by the company in any jurisdiction and the government reaffirms its commitment to protecting national assets wherever they may be located,” a statement by the attorney general’s office said.

TCC had a lease for the land since 1998 after securing a contract with the provincial government. However, that was canceled in 2011 due to allegations that the lease was secured through illegal means. A World Bank tribunal set aside Pakistan’s Supreme Court’s decision on the matter and awarded a nearly $6 billion fine to the mining company in 2017. Currently, Pakistan has a stay on the award decision, and the final decision on the matter will be taken in May 2021.

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