Intl. tribunal rules in favour of El Salvador on mining project that could have negative impacts on environment & local livelihoods; includes comments from OceanaGold
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…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…Whilst disappointed, OceanaGold will review the ICSID’s ruling in detail before evaluating the next steps related to its El Salvador business unit…
Author: Claire Provost and Matt Kennard, Guardian (UK)
An international tribunal has dismissed a multinational mining company’s demand that the government of El Salvador pay $250m (£205m) in compensation for refusing to allow it to dig for gold in the tiny Central American country where the slogan, “No to mining, yes to life” has become a national rallying cry. The tribunal, which ruled that OceanaGold’s case was without merit, also ordered the firm to pay the Salvadoran government $8m to cover the majority of the country’s legal costs.
“For the people of Cabanas who have been fighting to defend their environment, it is mission accomplished,” said El Salvador’s attorney general, Douglas Meléndez Ruiz. “It is an important step for the country to have been victorious in this lawsuit.”... The verdict marks the culmination of more than seven years of deliberations, largely behind closed doors, at the World Bank’s International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID)... El Salvador...maintained throughout the case that OceanaGold failed to meet regulatory requirements for the requested permits....[and] lacked crucial environmental permissions...
There Are No Winners: After Seven Years and Millions of Dollars, Pac Rim Mining Loses Suit Against El Salvador
Author: The International Allies against Mining in El Salvador
Civil society groups worldwide that support Salvadoran communities and organizations working on mining and environmental issues cheered today’s decision by the ICSID tribunal that Pacific Rim/OceanaGold’s $250 million lawsuit against El Salvador is without merit. In a ruling released today, the investment tribunal rejected the company’s claims and ordered it to pay $8 million in legal fees and costs to the government of El Salvador...“The fact that Pac Rim – now OceanaGold – could sue El Salvador, when it has never had a licence to operate, is an abuse of process”...“By allowing transnational companies to blackmail governments to try to force them to adopt policies that favor corporations, investor-state arbitration undermines democracy in El Salvador and around the world,”...“Regardless of the outcome, the arbitration has had a chilling effect on the development and implementation of public policy necessary to protect the environment and the human right to water”...“What we have now is a clear example of what is wrong with investor-state-dispute-settlement clauses"..."Let us be clear: El Salvador has not ‘won’ anything in this arbitration. El Salvador had to pay more than $12 million just to defend itself..."
Author: V. V Veeder, Professor Brigitte Stern & Professor Guido Santiago Tawil, International Centre for Settlement of Investor Disputes
[Full text of the award]
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