Labyrinth Reinvigorates Exploration at Comet Vale

The Claims relate to the Las Lagunas Gold Tailings Project which involved EVGLL recovering approximately 5.0 million tonnes of 3.5g/t gold tailings stored in a dam at Las Lagunas in the Dominican Republic, which originated from the adjacent Pueblo Viejo mine, and then oxidising the toxic sulphide tailings before producing a gold dore for refining overseas, and the sale of bullion.

The Project operated from July 2012 to December 2019, and was carried out under the terms of a Contract between EVGLL and the State dated 28 April 2004.

ICSID, which is based in Washington DC, and is a Unit of the World Bank, has been conducting the Arbitration through a three-member Tribunal established on 5 August 2020. The Award was issued on 24 April 2024, and received by EVGLL on 25 April 2024 following a final hearing in early June 2023.

EVGLL has been awarded US$4,070,283.85 (~A$ 6,308,940 at an exchange rate of A$1:00 = US$0.65) including interest to 24 April 2024. Simple interest continues to accrue at 7.3% pa.

The attached “Review Of Arbitration Award” details the Claims made, and the reasons for certain adverse decisions by the Tribunal which are perplexing, and in the Company’s view, unreasonable.


The result is disappointing, and is primarily as a result of the Tribunal rejecting EVGLL’s principal Claim of US$15.5 million for additional costs, and reduced gold production that resulted from the State’s failure to meet its contractual obligation to provide a site for the construction of a tailings storage facility into which reprocessed tailings could be deposited.

As a consequence, the reprocessed tailings had to be redeposited back into the Las Lagunas Dam behind substantial rock retaining walls at a considerable cost.

The Tribunal found that EVGLL had preferred to redeposit the reprocessed tailings back into the Las Lagunas Dam, and despite acknowledging the State’s breach of contract, ruled that EVGLL had effectively waived the State’s obligation to provide a site for the construction of a new dam.

In the opinion of the two Executive Directors of EVGLL involved in the Project, the Tribunal failed to take into account, or believe, their sworn Witness Statements, and oral testimony which reinforced EVGLL’s rights, and commitment to build a new tailings dam had the site been provided by the State.

A positive element of the Award was the Tribunal ordering the State to compensate EVGLL for the State’s breach of EVGLL’s entitlement to a special compensatory and fiscal regime, and to lift illegal garnishments that have prevented EGVLL from selling plant and equipment stored at Las Lagunas since October 2019, and to not reimpose them.

This will allow EVGLL to sell approximately A$3.0 million to A$4.0 million of surplus assets. While the State was directed to reimburse EVGLL for the Jurisdictional Phase of the Arbitration settled in EVGLL’s favour on 31 March 2022, the Award in relation to legal costs for the Merits

Phase of the Arbitration is based on EVGLL having to pay for 86% of the total of both parties legal costs, after winning only 14% of the total amount of its Claims. EVGLL will reimburse the State ~US$1,500,000 of its legal costs, plus simple interest accruing at 7.3%pa.

The A$6.3 million awarded to EVGLL is expected to be received in the near term, and will assist the Antilles Gold Group to fund the outstanding US$2.0 million of its farm-in to a 50% shareholding in Cuban joint venture company, Minera La Victoria, and the development of its first project, the Nueva Sabana gold-copper mine.

The Chairman of Antilles Gold, Mr Brian Johnson, commented that“the Tribunals’ reasons for rejecting the main Claim are difficult to comprehend, but there is no right of appeal. The Company would not have expended so much time and money on arbitration of this Claim if the Board, and its legal advisors had not thought it to be both genuine, and justified.

EVGLL will collect its entitlement to A$6.3M, and the Group will move on with its projects in Cuba.”

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