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9 Jun 2024


Colombia: Government wins lawsuit against Canadian Montauk Metals over gold mining in Santurbán páramo

Center for International Environmental Law

"World Bank tribunal rules against Canadian miner in legal dispute with Colombia", 09 June 2024

...The World Bank’s International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) ruled in favour of Colombia in a feud with Canada’s Montauk Metals – previously Galway Gold – after finding that the mining ban imposed by the Gustavo Petro administration on the Santurbán moor does not violate the Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement signed in 2008.

Montauk contended that Colombia breached obligations owed to the company, such as refusal or failure to compensate it for the losses incurred at the Reina de Oro gold project, following the nation’s decision to prohibit mining in Santurbán. 

The request for arbitration was submitted before the ICSID in March 2018 and asked for compensation of approximately $177 million...

In its decision, the ICSID also noted that there was no legitimate reason for Montauk to expect that Colombia was not going to protect the páramos.

“Colombia celebrates the arbitral tribunal’s decision, which recognizes our country’s efforts and legitimate measures to protect the environment and general interest areas,” the media brief reads...