Venezuela ordered to pay Crystallex $1.4 billion in arbitration ruling


By Peter Koven
National Post, Toronto
Tuesday, April 5, 2016

An arbitration tribunal has ordered the Venezuelan government to pay a whopping US$1.386 billion to Canadian miner Crystallex International Corp., saying the state caused all of Crystallex's investments "to become worthless."

The award relates to the rich Las Cristinas gold project in Venezuela. Crystallex had a contract to develop the mine, but Hugo Chavez's government refused to issue a key permit and informed the company in 2011 that the contract was "unilaterally terminated." No reasonable explanation was provided.

Crystallex quickly launched an international arbitration case at the World Bank's investment dispute centre, and the tribunal finally ruled in its favour this week. ...

The decision provides little solace for Crystallex's former shareholders, as the company filed for creditor protection in late 2011 and was delisted from the Toronto Stock Exchange. But it does create an opportunity for creditors to realize value. ...

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