VANCOUVER (miningweekly.com) – Canadian project developer Gabriel Resources is suing Romania for a record C$5.7-billion before the World Bank’s International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), the TSX-listed company revealed on Thursday.
The company hopes to tie up a drawn out dispute with the country’s fluid government, based on what it argues boils down to the effective expropriation, without compensation, of its flagship Roşia Montană gold/silver project – the largest undeveloped gold deposit in Europe and among the top 20 undeveloped gold projects globally.
“The ICSID arbitration seeks compensation for the loss and damage resulting from the Romanian State’s wrongful conduct and its breaches of protections against expropriation as set out under bilateral treaties, as well as its unfair and inequitable treatment and discrimination of the project and related licences,” Gabriel president and CEO Jonathan Henry told Mining Weekly Online.
Romania has signed bilateral investment treaties (BITs) with both the UK and Canada. Both treaties provide that disputes may be submitted to arbitration before the World Bank’s ICSID. Gabriel in January 2015 first served a notice of dispute to the Romanian government to seek an amicable resolution to the permitting and authorisation of the Roşia Montană gold and silver mine, which has been stalled for years while the company awaits a key environmental permit.
Gabriel plans to file its memorial on the merits of the claim, wherein factual and legal arguments supporting its claims against the State will be detailed, before Friday. The memorial will also include details of the claimed quantum of the damages sustained on the back of Romania’s alleged treaty breaches.