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Tribunal orders Venezuela to pay Rusoro Mining more than US$1.2 billion for taking over company’s gold mines

VANCOUVER — Rusoro Mining Ltd.  says an international arbitration tribunal has ordered Venezuela to pay it more than US$1.2 billion after unlawfully expropriating the company’s gold mines in that country.

Venezuela took over the Vancouver-based company’s investments in the South American country as part of a nationalization of the gold industry in 2011.

Rusoro had two gold mines as well as other development projects in the country, then under the leadership of Hugo Chavez who died in 2013.

The company attempted for several months to negotiate compensation without success before it filed a US$3.03-billion claim against Venezuela at the World Bank’s International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes in 2012.

The arbitration tribunal ordered Venezuela to pay US$967.77 million as of the September 2011 expropriation, plus interest as well as US$3.3 million for Rusoro’s costs in the arbitration.

Rusoro said Tuesday the money is due immediately and said it expects that Venezuela will comply with its international obligations.

“The company looks forward to collecting on the award on behalf of all of its stakeholders,” Rusoro president and chief executive Andre Agapov said.