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Friday, Aug 23, 2019

Pakistan told to pay $6 billion fine in mining dispute

The ruling comes at a sensitive time for Pakistan, which earlier this month signed a $6 billion bailout agreement with the International Monetary Fund to stave off a looming balance of payments crisis.

world Updated: Jul 15, 2019 07:49 IST
Agencies
Agencies
Islamabad
The government said it was disappointed by the ruling but had taken note of a statement from Tethyan Copper’s chairman expressing willingness to seek a negotiated settlement.
The government said it was disappointed by the ruling but had taken note of a statement from Tethyan Copper’s chairman expressing willingness to seek a negotiated settlement.(REUTERS FILE PHOTO)
         

An international arbitration court has imposed $5.976 billion penalty on Pakistan for the unlawful denial of a mining lease to a company for the Reko Diq project in 2011.

The Tethyan Copper Company - a joint venture between Chilean mining company Antofagasta and Canada’s Barrick Gold Corporation - had filed claims before the World Bank’s International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) in 2012 after the Balochistan government rejected a leasing request from the company. In its 700-page ruling, the tribunal awarded a $ 4.08 billion penalty and $1.87 billion in interests, Dawn reported.

The company had claimed $11.43 billion in damages. Tethyan Copper discovered vast mineral wealth more than a decade ago in Reko Diq, at the foot of an extinct volcano near Pakistan’s frontier with Iran and Afghanistan.

On Sunday, Pakistan said it welcomed a statement by Tethyan Copper expressing willingness for a negotiated settlement. The government said it was disappointed by the ruling but had taken note of a statement from Tethyan Copper’s chairman expressing willingness to seek a negotiated settlement.

The ruling comes at a sensitive time for Pakistan, which earlier this month signed a $6 billion bailout agreement with the International Monetary Fund to stave off a looming balance of payments crisis.

First Published: Jul 15, 2019 01:20 IST

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