Memery Bank: investment treaty arbitration

By Nicholas Scott

Everything seemed to be going just fine with the project: the reserves report showed healthy numbers, the capital markets were appreciative of this and the funds needed to develop the project appeared to be within reach. What could shatter this rosy vision?

To which the answer comes: a review of the terms of your mining concession, a rumour of renegotiation of contracts, the introduction of a new mining code or even the introduction of new taxes. None of these are implausible scenarios and indeed Guinea’s and Sierra Leone’s governments are reviewing all existing mining concessions, Mali’s new government is expected to follow suit and renegotiate some contracts, Liberia is drafting a new mining code and Ghana is consulting on a windfall tax on gold mining companies. Aside from ruing the day, what could you do to respond in the circumstances?

This note is a short introduction to the possibility of relying on a bilateral investment treaty to try to seek redress from the relevant host state in the circumstances…

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