World Bank imposes one of its biggest fines on Pakistan over mining lease

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Islamabad: In a jolt to Pakistan, an international arbitration court has imposed one of the biggest fines in the history, that sums to $5.976 billion, on Islamabad for the unlawful denial of a mining lease to a company for the Reko Diq project in 2011.

The Tethyan Copper Company (TCC), a joint venture between Chilean mining company Antofagasta and Canada’s Barrick Gold Corporation, filed for international arbitration before the World Bank’s International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) in 2012 after the Balochistan government rejected a leasing request from the company.

In its 700-page ruling against Pakistan, the tribunal on Friday handed down a $4.08 billion penalty and $1.87 billion in interests, the Dawn reported. The company had claimed $11.43 billion in damages.

The case between the Pakistan government and the company continued for seven years.

The ICSID ruling is a major setback for Pakistan, which is at a “critical juncture” according to the Washington-based International Monetary Fund (IMF) which agreed to give a $6 billion bailout package to the country.

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