Pakistan has received a major relaxation in paying up the $5.9 billion penalty in the Reko Diq case after the World Bank’s International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) granted a stay on the enforcement of a penalty in the Reko Diq lease dispute.
“The World Bank’s International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) has granted a stay on enforcement of the Award issued against Pakistan in the Reko Diq dispute. This is a success for Pakistan and its legal team,” a press release issued by the Auditor General of Pakistan.
In July 2019,an ICSID Tribunal granted an Award of nearly $6 billion against Pakistan for denying a mining lease to an Australian company, Tethyan Copper Company (TCC).
Immediately thereafter, the TCC commenced proceedings for enforcement of the Award.
In November 2019, Pakistan challenged the Award and initiated proceedings seeking its annulment. Pakistan was granted provisional stay upon initiating annulment proceedings.
A hearing to confirm the stay order took place over video link in April, l2020.
In November 2019, Pakistan challenged the Award and initiated proceedings seeking its annulment. Pakistan was granted provisional stay upon initiating annulment proceedings. A hearing to confirm the stay order took place over videolink in April 2020. On 16 September 2020, the Tribunal finally ruled in favour of Pakistan, confirming the stay on enforcement of the Award, the attorney general said.
The ICSID is still considering Pakistan’s appeal against enforcing the penalty over its cancellation of the Reko Diq mining lease for TCC, a 50-50 joint venture of Barrick Gold Corporation of Australia and Antofagasta PLC of Chile and a final hearing will take place in May 2021.
The Reko Diq district in southwestern Pakistan’s Baluchistan province is famed for its mineral wealth, including gold and copper. Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government considers it a strategic national asset, though instead of yielding a bonanza the Reko Diq mines have cost the country dearly owing to ongoing international litigation between TCC and Pakistan, added the press release.