MAC: Mines and Communities

Crystallex seeks 3.8 billion compensation from Venezuela

Published by MAC on 2011-02-21
Source: BNA, El Universal (2011-02-17)

Crystallex, please wait in line! Gold Reserve filed for arbitration in late 2009 after the Venezuelan authorities seized its Brisas project. Canada's Vanessa Ventures has a similar claim from 2004 for Las Cristinas.

Las Cristinas and Brisas gold projects are located next to each other in Bolívar state's kilometer 88 mining district. Las Cristinas has 20.8Moz of gold in measured and indicated resources. Brisas has proven and probable reserves of 10.2Moz.

See previous on MAC:

Canadian legal threats to Venezuela

Venezuelan gold project secure, Crystallex says

ESPAÑOL

Crystallex seeks USD 3.8 billion compensation from Venezuela

Venezuela's decision to terminate Las Cristinas mining agreement goes to international arbitration

El Universal

17 February 2011

Pursuant to the agreement between the Government of Canada and the Government of Venezuela for the Promotion and Protection of Investments, Canadian mining company Crystallex International Corp. has filed a request for arbitration against the Venezuelan government.

The Toronto-based company decided to file the request before the World Bank's International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes ("Icsid"), seeking a full compensation in excess of USD 3.8 billion.

The gold producer seeks the restitution by Venezuelan of Crystallex's investments and the compensation for interim losses suffered following the failure of the Venezuelan government to propose any solution to the dispute over Las Cristinas gold mine.

Crystallex had reported last week that the government of Venezuela had "unilaterally terminated" the contract to operate the mine. As a result the shares of the company plummeted, Reuters reported.

The Canadian mining company expressed its disagreement with the termination of the contract it had signed with state-run company Corporación Venezolana de Guayana (CVG).


Las Cristinas announcement clears path for joint development with Brisas, Venezuela

Business News Americas

10 February 2011

The cancellation of Toronto-based Crystallex International's mine operating contract with Venezuelan state heavy industry holding CVG for the Las Cristinas gold project clears the way for joint development with the neighboring Brisas project, Gold Reserve de Venezuela president Arturo Rivero told BNamericas.

"Upon revoking the Brisas concessions [previously in the hands of Gold Reserve] and canceling the Crystallex contract, the government gets total control and it will be easier to develop the area," Rivero said.

In 2000, Gold Reserve de Venezuela, a subsidiary of US-based Gold Reserve, carried out a series of studies that found that, from every point of view, developing Las Cristinas and Brisas together would be the best option.

The projects are located next to each other in Bolívar state's kilometer 88 mining district.

"While there has been talk that the government wants to do a single development of Las Cristinas and Brisas, we don't know what it's going to end up doing in the area. Supposedly, it's going to develop it with some Russian or Chinese companies, but it's a matter of waiting," Rivero said.

In 2008, the environment ministry (Minamb) revoked the permit it had granted to Gold Reserve in March 2007 to begin project construction.

In September 2010, the company filed an arbitration claim against Venezuela with the World Bank's International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) over Brisas and the Choco 5 gold property.

Las Cristinas has 464Mt grading 1.13g/t gold or 16.9Moz in proven and probable reserves, in addition to 629Mt grading 1.03g/t gold or 20.8Moz in measured and indicated resources.

Brisas has proven and probable reserves of 10.2Moz gold and 1.39Blb (630,039t) copper.

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