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February 1, 2019

French court annuls Venezuela’s $1.2bn compensation to Rusoro

The Paris Court of Appeals in France has annulled the arbitral award which ordered Venezuela to pay $1.2bn in compensation to Rusoro Mining for the expropriation of mining properties.

The Paris Court of Appeals in France has annulled the arbitral award which ordered Venezuela to pay $1.2bn in compensation to Rusoro Mining for the expropriation of mining properties.

However, the court upheld the decision that Venezuela is liable for the unlawful seizure of Rusoro’s investments in the country.

In August 2016, Rusoro Mining was awarded around $1.2bn in damages by a tribunal against Venezuela’s decision to take over the company’s assets as part of the nationalisation of the country’s gold industry in 2011.

Rusoro filed the request for arbitration at World Bank’s International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) in 2012 claiming that the expropriation violated the Canada-Venezuela Bilateral Investment Treaty.

The ICSID tribunal awarded the company $967.77m in damages along with pre- and post-award interest, which amounted to around $1.2bn at that time.

In its decision, the French court did not determine the compensation that Venezuela must pay to Rusoro for breaching the treaty.

“The French Court decision does not impact Venezuela’s obligation to pay Rusoro at least $100m as partial payment.”

In a statement, Rusoro stated that it will continue to explore legal avenues to obtain fair compensation against the expropriation of its investments in Venezuela.

Fresh appeal to the French Supreme Court against the decision and re-filing the case to arbitration to determine the amount of damages is currently under consideration by the company.

“Rusoro confirms that the French Court decision does not impact Venezuela’s obligation to pay Rusoro at least $100m as partial payment for the expropriated investments under the Agreement executed between them in October 2018,” the company added in a statement.

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