Gold Exploration Company Demand USD 98M in Damages from Tanzania

Tanzania-Winshear dispute memorial

Canadian-based junior gold exploration company Winshear Gold Corp. (TSX-V: WINS) has filed its Memorial with the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes, outlining the nature and quantum of its claims against Tanzania for the expropriation of the Company’s retention licenses over the SMP Gold Project in Tanzania.

The Memorial provides the basis for compensation to Winshear in the amount of CAD 124,781,945 including interest that continues to accrue. 

Richard Williams, CEO of Winshear, commented “Establishing CAD 124,781,945 as compensation for Tanzania’s expropriation of the SMP Gold Project is a very important milestone for Winshear. Tanzania’s actions have rendered valueless years of investment in the country. We have made every attempt to work with the Tanzanian Government to reach an amicable settlement since they canceled our retention licenses but they have provided us no choice but to pursue the legal route.”

Background

  • Between 2006 and 2017, Winshear acquired, explored and discovered a gold resource at the SMP Gold Project in southerwestern Tanzania.
  • As of 2017, Winshear held four Retention Licences.
  • In July 2017, the Government of Tanzania passed new legislation abolishing the Retention Licence classification.
  • In December 2019, the Government of Tanzania put all of the area formerly held by Winshear under retention licences out to tender, thus expropriating the SMP Gold Project.
  • In January 2020, the Winshear served notice to the Government of Tanzania of its intention to enter arbitration proceedings, triggering a 6-month notice period designed to provide Tanzania the opportunity to enter into discussions with Winshear to resolve the dispute. Tanzania did not respond during the notice period. 
  • In July 2020, after Tanzania’s failure to respond to the notice, Winshear initiated arbitration proceedings with ICSID.
  • The arbitration case is heard by a 3-person tribunal, and is expected to conclude in H1 2023.
  • The Tribunal is constituted in accordance with Article 37(2)(a) of the ICSID Convention.  Its members are: Gabrielle Kaufmann-Kohler (Swiss), President, appointed by her co-arbitrators; O. Thomas Johnson (U.S.), appointed by Claimant; and Edward William Fashole Luke II (Botswanan), appointed by Respondent.
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