Make Kitco Your Homepage

Miner South32 files request for arbitration in Colombia royalty dispute

Kitco News

 

BOGOTA, March 31 (Reuters) - Mining company South32 has filed a request for arbitration at the World Bank over a dispute with Colombia concerning royalty payments from its majority-owned Cerro Matoso ferronickel mine, the company confirmed on Tuesday.

In February the Andean country's comptroller opened an investigation into alleged unpaid royalties of 619 billion pesos ($152.3 million) from iron and nickel production at Cerro Matoso between 1982 and 2012. Cerro Matoso, one of the largest open-pit ferro-nickel mines in the world, is located in a rural part of Cordoba province, in the north of Colombia. During the 2019 financial year Cerro Matoso produced 41,100 tonnes of nickel.

South32, which was spun off from BHP Group , is primarily listed in Australia.

The request for arbitration, filed with the World Bank's International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes in accordance with the UK-Colombia bilateral investment treaty, was submitted by South32's UK unit on March 27.

<p>The arbitration request follows a number of measures taken by Colombia, which include &quot;seeking arbitrarily to re-calculate royalties owed and paid by its ... subsidiary Cerro Matoso SA,&quot; South32 said in an email to Reuters.

On the same day, the company withdrew its production guidance for Cerro Matoso following restrictions placed on the mining industry by Colombia&apos;s government to halt the spread of coronavirus. The South American country&apos;s comptroller did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

($1 = 4,064.81 pesos)</p><br>

(Reporting by Oliver Griffin; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect those of Kitco Metals Inc. The author has made every effort to ensure accuracy of information provided; however, neither Kitco Metals Inc. nor the author can guarantee such accuracy. This article is strictly for informational purposes only. It is not a solicitation to make any exchange in commodities, securities or other financial instruments. Kitco Metals Inc. and the author of this article do not accept culpability for losses and/ or damages arising from the use of this publication.

Precious Metal Charts

Follow Kitco News