Another Canadian mining company claims compensation against Tanzania
The Citizen | 2nd October 2023
By Paul Owere
Another Canadian mining company, Montero Mining & Exploration has confirmed a date for the hearing of an investment dispute where it is claiming a Sh168 billion (C$90m) compensation against the United Republic of Tanzania.
After submissions by both parties, a hearing has been set for December 3 and 4, 2023 with the same lead attorney that represented Indiana and Winshear on the side of the claimant. Speaking to The Citizen, Tanzania’s solicitor general Boniphace Luhendi confirmed that a date had been set for the hearing without going into much details whether they would want to settle the matter out of court.
Last week, Tanzania and Canadian mining company Winshear Gold Corp agreed to suspended arbitration proceedings regarding the expropriation of SMP Gold Project in South West Tanzania after the two sides reached a conditional settlement agreement. The Vancouver-based company said there was no guarantee that the conditional settlement agreement will be concluded in a case where the claimant was originally claiming compensation in excess of Sh250 billion. The claim by Montero filed at International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) was as a result of cancellation of the retention licence to mine rare earths at Wigu Hill in 2018.
According to the miner’s CEO and President Tony Harwood, the company had sunk about
C$15.5m in rare earths project Wigu Hill since 2008.
However, in 2018 the Tanzanian government cancelled the project’s retention licences under its new Mining (Local Content) Regulations 2018. Montero said development amounted to expropriation. “The company has made repeated attempts to work with the Tanzanian Government to reach an amicable settlement without success, while the discovery and development of the Wigu Hill project has created significant value for Tanzania,” said Harwood. Shares in the company have fallen about 58 percent over the last 12 months. Earlier this month, shares fell to a two-year low of four Canadian cents per share. Claims totalling just over C$250m have been lodged with the ICSID by two other companies against the Tanzanian government on similar grounds including Winshear Gold Corporation and Indiana Resources, Montero said.