Montero Mining to file memorial in Wigu Hill expropriation dispute, Tanzania

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Montero Mining and Exploration Ltd. [MON-TSXV; MXTRF-OTC] provided an update on the arbitration proceedings against the United Republic of Tanzania over Tanzania’s expropriation of the Wigu Hill rare earth element project before International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).

The arbitral tribunal is composed of Dr. Achille Ngwanza, president, Eric Teynier, appointed by Montero, and Cecil W. M. Abraham, appointed by Tanzania. It held its first session together with the parties on January 17, 2022, on which procedural issues were discussed and agreed, including the timeline of the proceedings.

On February 18, 2022, the arbitral tribunal issued procedural order No. 1, with a definitive timetable. Montero will file its memorial on the merits of its case and the valuation of damages claimed in May, 2022. The place of the arbitration is Washington, D.C.

Montero has retained as legal counsel Thierry Lauriol and his team at Jeantet AARPI, and Dr. Neal Rigby of SRK Consulting (US) Inc. as quantum expert. Dr. Rigby has acted in this capacity and as mining and valuation expert in many international mining disputes that have been resolved through ICSID arbitrations. Montero obtained dispute financing from Omni Bridgeway, a leading global dispute funder.

Montero’s Wigu Hill rare earth element retention licence was expropriated by the Tanzanian government in 2018. The company has expended significant out-of-pocket costs on exploration activities on the project since March, 2008, and its exploration and development of the project has created considerable value for Tanzania.

Montero initiated international arbitration proceedings on January 8, 2021, through ICSID in accordance with the Bilateral Investment Treaty between Canada and the United Republic of Tanzania, which protects investment rights. The company seeks compensation based on the damages it suffered from the Tanzanian government’s acts and omissions.

Dr. Tony Harwood, president and CEO of Montero, said: “While we are pursuing this significant claim for damages and compensation, the company has divested from Tanzania to focus on the exploration and development in Chile, a Tier 1 mining investment destination.”

Montero is a junior exploration company focused on finding, exploring and advancing globally significant gold, silver and base metal deposits in Chile.


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