TCC open to negotiated settlement with Pakistan

Last Updated: Mon, Jul 15, 2019 11:20 hrs

Islamabad, July 15 (IANS) The Tethyan Copper Company (TCC) has said that it was willing to discuss the potential for a negotiated settlement with Pakistan over an almost $6 billion damages case decided in its favour, a media report said on Monday.

The development comes after an arbitration tribunal of the World Bank's International Centre for SettlĀ­ement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on Friday awarded about $5.9 billion in damages to TCC in arbitration claims it filed against Pakistan following the denial of a mining lease for the Reko Diq project in Balochistan in 2011, Dawn news reported.

TCC is a joint venture held equally by the Antofagasta plc and Barrick Gold Corporation, one of the world's mining giants.

Damages include compensation of $4.087 billion by reference to the fair market value of the Reko Diq project at the time of the mining lease denial, and interest award of $1.753 billion.

The tribunal also awarded TCC just under $62 million in costs incurred in enforcing its rights.

"We are pleased to reach this milestone after more than seven years of arbitration," Dawn news quoted Ivan Arriagada, Antofagasta plc's CEO, as saying in a statement on Sunday.

"We remain willing to discuss the potential for a negotiated settlement with Pakistan and will continue to protect our commercial interests and legal rights until the conclusion of this dispute," said William Hayes, TCC's chairman.

Prior to the denial of the mining lease application, TCC had completed a feasibility study showing that Reko Diq was one of the world's largest undeveloped copper and gold deposits, and had a potential mine life of over 50 years and an estimated initial capital investment of over $3 billion.

The ICSID, which provides facilities for conciliation and arbitration of international investment disputes, rendered its judgement on Friday in a 700-page ruling against Pakistan.

Reko Diq gold and copper mines project case was decided by the Supreme Court of Pakistan in its original and appellate jurisdiction simultaneously in 2013 and 2014.

--IANS

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