Indiana scores US$110 MILLION payday as international arbitrators rule in its favour over Tanzania nickel
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Indiana Resources is due for a US$110 million payday after the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes ruled in its favour in relation to Tanzania’s unlawful expropriation of the Ntaka Hill nickel sulphide project.
Ntaka Hill was an advanced, development ready asset with an estimated JORC Resource of 56.2 million tonnes at 0.63% nickel, 0.14% copper and 0.02% cobalt for 356,380t contained nickel. It was expropriated more than five years ago by the Tanzanian government following legislative changes and has since been developed by other parties.
This led to Indiana Resources (ASX:IDA), as the major shareholder in the project and manager of the joint venture, to commence arbitration against Tanzania to seek compensation for the loss of its sunk costs over time in exploring the project.
While the process has certainly being a frustrating one for the company and its stakeholders over the past five years, validation has finally come with the ICSID tribunal unanimously finding that Tanzania had unlawfully expropriated the Ntaka Hill project on 10 January 2018 in breach of the UK-Tanzania Bilateral Investment Treaty.
Importantly, the arbitration Tribunal unanimously ordered Tanzania to pay the company and its partners US$76,706,461 in damages and additional losses, as well as compound interest at the rate of 2% above the USD Prime rate on the amount awarded from 10 January 2018 to the date of payment.
This brings the total amount up to more than US$109.5m (US$68.33m net to Indiana) in damages and accrued interest, and interest will continue to accrue until Tanzania pays the monies. Indiana will be entitled to a minimum of 62% of this amount.
Additionally, the Tribunal decided that the costs of the arbitration, including the fees and expenses of ICSID and the Tribunal, should be borne by Tanzania and ordered that it pay the claimants US$3,859,161 for their legal costs and expenses.
“I am delighted that we have received the Award from ICSID, and that the amount of the Award reflects the substantial investment that has been lost by shareholders through Tanzania’s unlawful expropriation of Ntaka Hill,” executive chairman Bronwyn Barnes said.
“We now move to the enforcement phase. The ICSID Convention has been ratified by 158 Member States of the World Bank – including Tanzania. This means that any award issued by an ICSID tribunal is enforceable in any one of those 158 member States as if it were a judgment of one of their own courts.
“We have consistently said that we would look to enforce an award against Tanzania, and that work will commence now.”
Recent aircore drilling at the company’s 5,713km2 Central Gawler Craton project in South Australia has confirmed that high-grade clay-hosted rare earth mineralisation is present across a 4.5km wide zone.
This also increased the REE target area up to 6km by 4.5km though this remains open in all directions.
Up to 26m of total rare earth oxide enrichment has been noted in the weathering profile with assays returning results such as 26m grading 1,656 parts per million (ppm) total rare earth oxide (TREO) and 622ppm magnet REO (MREO) from 49m (LLAC085), 18m at 1,272ppm TREO from 51m (LLAC084) and 25m at 919ppm TREO from 5m (LLAC105).
Drilling has indicated that a high-grade MREO zone is present within the broader TREO zone and that MREOs make up to 42% of the TREO content.
This article was developed in collaboration with Indiana Resources, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.
This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.