Colombian Govt. facing $16.5 billion arbitration filed by gold companies under US-Colombia free trade agreement over mining ban

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14 April 2016

Three mining co.s to sue Colombian Govt. under free trade agreement with US over mining ban in national park

Author: Censat Aguaviva, Friends of the Earth International

[This is an unofficial translation by Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, summarising the original article in Spanish that can be accessed here]

“Unveiled: Colombian Govt. sued for US $16,500 million under FTA with the USA, over creating Yaigoji Apaporis National Park”

The intention of three mining companies to sue the government was discovered through documents recently published by the government itself; the case would be submitted under the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Colombia and the United States over the decision by the Colombian Govt. to create an area of natural protection instead of authorizing mining permits in an Amazon region…Tobie Mining & Energy (US), Cosigo Resources (Canada) and, Cosigo Resources Colombia branch maintain that their gold mining project was unfairly delayed and that the consultation process to approve the creation of the Yaigoji Apaporis National Park was fraudulent.  On their side, affected indigenous communities…alleged irregular proceedings by the companies when trying to start the mining operation…Due to the creation of the natural reserve these companies had to suspend any mining activity…Today, there are 700 recognised cases of complaints by investors.  In 2016 alone there have been at least four cases against Colombia…

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Author: Censat Aguaviva, Amigos de la Tierra Internacional

“Al descubierto: Demandan a Colombia por $16.500 millones de dólares al amparo del TLC con EEUU, por crear el Parque Nacional Yaigoji Apaporis”

Por medio de documentos publicados recientemente por el gobierno colombiano se develó la intención de tres empresas mineras de demandar al país por un monto que podría alcanzar los 16.500 millones de dólares. La demanda se daría bajo el amparo del Tratado de Libre Comercio (TLC) entre Colombia y Estados Unidos, y por la decisión del gobierno colombiano de crear un área de protección natural en lugar de autorizar actividades de explotación minera en la región amazónica…Las empresas Tobie Mining and Energy (Estados Unidos), Cosigo Resources (Canadá) y Cosigo Resources Sucursal Colombia sostienen que su proyecto de minería de oro sufrió retrasos injustos y que el proceso de consulta para la aprobación del Parque Nacional Yaigoji Apaporis fue fraudulento. Por su parte, las comunidades indígenas afectadas…denunciaron irregularidades en las que incurrieron las empresas en sus intentos de explotación minera…Debido a la creación de la reserva natural se tuvieron que suspender todas las actividades mineras…Actualmente hay 700 casos conocidos de demandas inversionista-Estado a nivel mundial. Sólo en 2016 se han presentado al menos cuatro casos contra Colombia…

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Article
21 March 2016

Atty Behind $16.5B Colombia Gold Fight Says More Coming

Author: Jack Newsham, Law 360

New documents reveal that Colombia was hit with a $16.5 billion arbitration notice last month by a U.S. gold mining company that said its mineral rights were illegally revoked, and an attorney for the company told Law360 Monday that many more claims could soon be filed. Tobie Mining & Energy Inc. and two other companies that planned to dig in the remote Taraira South mining concession told the Colombian government in February that it violated a U.S.-Colombia free trade agreement when it created a national park in the same area that rendered its concession “inoperable,” according to an arbitration notice made public last weekend. Tobie and its Canadian partner Cosigo Resources Ltd. said they spent $11 million to prepare to mine a gold deposit whose value had been pegged at $16.5 billion in geological surveys.

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