Ruling Favors El Salvador in Mining Dispute

The International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes has ruled in favor of El Salvador in the dispute with the mining company OceanaGold, owner of the El Dorado gold mine.

Friday, October 14, 2016

From a press release by OceanaGold Corporation:

(MELBOURNE) OceanaGold Corporation (TSX/ASX/NZX: OGC) (the “Company”) has been advised that the arbitration tribunal constituted by the World Bank’s International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (“ICSID”) has found in favour of the Government of El Salvador (the “Government”) in its dispute with an OceanaGold indirect subsidiary company, Pac Rim Cayman LLC. ICSID granted an award of US$8 million to the Government of El Salvador to cover its legal fees and costs.

OceanaGold inherited the arbitration process when it acquired Pacific Rim Mining Corp. in November 2013 and the Company has stated from the beginning that its goal was to reach an amicable resolution of this matter which would benefit all parties.

Whilst disappointed, OceanaGold will review the ICSID’s ruling in detail before evaluating the next steps related to its El Salvador business unit. The Company believes that a modern resource industry that operates in a safe and sustainable manner and within internationally recognised best practices has the potential to unlock a sustainable and multi-decade development opportunity for the Republic of El Salvador.

However, the Company recognises that the Government will need to take positive and definitive steps towards establishing a stable business environment if it wishes to attract foreign investment to establish this opportunity.

As a world class producer for over two decades, Canadian-Australian mining company OceanaGold has been a valued member of the communities where it operates, including environmentally sensitive areas such as New Zealand, the Philippines, and the United States.

Over this time the Company has formed a strong track record of establishing itself as a partner and employer of choice that works in a spirit of cooperation and respect with its stakeholders in a sustainable and ethical way.



More on this topic

Less Investment in El Salvador

July 2017

The company Oceana Gold has paid the $8 million it owed because of the international arbitration case it lost against the Salvadoran state and has announced that it has no plans to continue mining activities in the country.

With the payment of $8 million plus interest, an end has been brought to the litigation that began years ago between Pacifi Rim, now Oceana Gold, and the Salvadoran state.

El Salvador: Oceana Gold Mining Conflict Continues

April 2017

The Public Prosecutor's Office has frozen the company's property, vehicles and bank accounts, because it has not yet paid the $8 million plus interest owed from an international arbitration case which it lost to the Salvadoran State.

From a statement issued by the Attorney General of El Salvador:

Another Favorable Ruling for El Salvador in Mining Dispute

March 2017

A new ruling by the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes requires the mining company OceanaGold to pay interest on the $8 million it owes to the Salvadoran State.

From a statement issued by the Comptroller General of the Republic:

A New Mining Company in El Salvador

September 2016

Companies in the sector point to the favorable geological conditions for this activity in the country and advocate that the suspension of concessions which has been in effect since 2009 be lifted.

Companies engaged in exploration and mining activities support their argument citing the new ways in which the activity now takes place, differentiating the artisanal mining techniques which were used in the past from those used in modern mining. 

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