Canadian junior Stans Energy (TSX-V:HRE) has won a battle in a long dragged-case against the Kyrgyz Republic, which in 2014 revoked the company’s mining licenses for a former rare earth mine and nearby property, claiming the acquisition process of those assets had been tainted.
The arbitration tribunal, said the
company, determined that Stans prevailed on jurisdiction and on the merits of its
claim against the Kyrgyz government. It also awarded Stans about $24 million in
compensation for damages, including interest and costs.
The case revolved around the
company’s 20-year mining license for the past-producing Kutessay II open pit
rare earth mine, which the junior acquired in 2009, as well as the rights to
the Kalesay property.
After the licences withdrawal, Stans filed a lawsuit against the Kyrgyz government, demanding
$118 million plus interest in compensation. While the Toronto-based company won
that trial, it has never been able to get the money, due to a series of legal
loopholes, including a Moscow-court decision to hold off the millions Stans
Energy was expecting.
The miner’s efforts to enforce a
separate arbitral award were rejected twice by Canadian courts, which prevented
Stans from seizing assets belonging to state-owned company Kyrgyzaltyn JSC.
KRP was the only hard rock plant to
produce all rare earth elements outside of China, producing 120 different
metals, alloys, and oxides. For over 30 years, Kutessay II produced 80% of the
rare earth metals for the Former Soviet Union.