July 25, 2016, Vancouver, British Columbia—TriMetals Mining Inc. (TSX: TMI and TMI.B, US OTCQX: TMIAF and TMIBF), (the “Company”), reports that the oral hearing (the “Hearing”) in South American Silver Limited’s international arbitration against the Plurinational State of Bolivia (“Bolivia”) for the expropriation of the Malku Khota project, held at the World Bank’s premises in Washington, D.C., USA under the administrative authority of the Permanent Court of Arbitration, concluded, after nine hearing days, on Thursday, July 21, 2016.
The Hearing, presided over by a three-member arbitral tribunal, focused on the evidentiary record in the case and counsel for both South American Silver and Bolivia addressed the issues of jurisdiction, merits and quantum. The Hearing presented an opportunity for the arbitral tribunal to hear testimony from fact witnesses and expert witnesses, as well as to address questions to the witnesses.
South American Silver seeks full reparation for Bolivia’s breaches of the UK-Bolivia Bilateral Investment Treaty and international law, plus pre-award interest and post-award interest until full payment is made. South American Silver also requests reimbursement for all fees and costs incurred in connection with the arbitration proceeding.
South American Silver has presented evidence to support its claim in which it seeks compensation for damages in the amount of US$385.7 million, which includes US$ 307.2 million for all of its losses caused by Bolivia’s breaches of the UK-Bolivia Bilateral Investment Treaty, plus US$78.5 million in pre-award interest, but excludes fees and costs incurred in connection with the arbitration proceeding and post-award interest.
Ralph Fitch, President and CEO stated, “The Hearing was the culmination of an extensive effort by South American Silver’s counsel, technical, legal and financial experts, as well as our employees, to present South American Silver’s case to the Tribunal. Upon review of the entire record of evidence, we continue to believe that South American Silver’s claims are very strong. South American Silver had worked in Bolivia for nearly 20 years and it would have delivered meaningful social and economic benefits to their communities through the development of the Malku Khota project into a large and modern mine. We worked hard for years to build the trust and support of local indigenous communities, and we were proud of the fact that the vast majority recognized the social and economic benefits this project would bring to their families and their communities. The protests by outside activists and groups associated with illegal artisanal mining, acted against the stated wishes and best interests of the local indigenous communities, and the Government’s response to the protests by expropriating the Malku-Khota mining concessions was illegal and unnecessary”.
Pursuant to the procedural orders in place, both parties will submit post-hearing memorials due on a date yet to be determined. The post-hearing memorials will be filed simultaneously and will allow both sides to address any outstanding issues, including the evidence presented at the hearing and legal issues after which the Tribunal will deliberate and issue a final award.
It is typical for tribunals in this type of arbitration to require six to twelve months to finalize and issue a final award.
A large majority of the costs, fees and other expenses incurred in connection with the arbitration, including financing costs and other commitments, are payable only if there is an award or settlement in favour of South American Silver Limited and will be paid out of the proceeds of any award rendered by the Tribunal’s decision on this arbitration, thus potentially reducing funds received by South American Silver by as much as one-third of the amount of any award in its favor.
The Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague in the Netherlands is the administrating authority in this arbitration under the Rules of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL). The arbitration is brought under the UK-Bolivia Bilateral Investment Treaty as South American Silver owns, indirectly, 100% of the shares Compania Minera Malku Khota, which held the mining concessions that were expropriated by the Bolivian Government in 2012.
Information regarding the progress of the arbitration, and relevant documentation, can be viewed on the Company’s website at www.trimetalsmining.com or on the Permanent Court of Arbitration’s website at www.pca-cpa.org.
About TriMetals Mining Inc.
TriMetals Mining Inc. is a growth focused mineral exploration company creating value through the exploration and development of the near surface, Gold Springs gold-silver project in mining friendly Nevada and Utah in the U.S.A.
South American Silver Limited is a company incorporated in the Bermuda Islands, an overseas territory of the United Kingdom, and a wholly owned subsidiary of TriMetals Mining Inc. Through its wholly owned Bahaman subsidiaries: Malku Khota Ltd, G.M. Campana Ltd. and Productora Limited., South American Silver Limited owns 100% of the outstanding shares of Compañía Minera Malku Khota S.A., a Bolivian company, holder of the Malku-Khota mining concessions until their expropriation by the Bolivian Government.
The Company’s approach to business combines the team’s track record of discovery and advancement of large projects, key operational and process expertise, and a focus on community relations and sustainable development. Management has extensive experience in the global exploration and mining industry.
The Company’s common shares and Class B shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbols “TMI” and “TMI.B” and the common shares and Class B shares also trade on the OTCQX market under the symbols “TMIAF” and “TMIBF”. Additional information related to TriMetals Mining Inc. is available at www.trimetalsmining.com and on SEDAR at www.sedar.com
This News Release contains forward-looking statements, including statements regarding the expected next procedural steps and the expected timing for the finalization by the tribunal of its final award in the arbitration proceedings against Bolivia. These forward-looking statements are based on current expectations and various estimates, factors and assumptions and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors.
Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these statements as the Company’s actual results, performance or achievements may differ materially from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements if known or unknown risks, uncertainties or other factors affect the Company’s business, or if the Company’s estimates or assumptions prove inaccurate. Therefore, the Company cannot provide any assurance that forward-looking statements will materialize. Factors that could cause results or events to differ materially from current expectations expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements, include, but are not limited to, the advancement of the international arbitration process in a customary manner and in accordance with Procedural Order No.1 (as amended in February, April and June 2015 and January 2016) and other risks more fully described in the Company’s Annual Information Form filed and publicly available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. The assumptions made in developing the forward-looking statements include the advancement of the international arbitration process in the customary manner and in accordance with Procedural Order No.1 (as amended in February, April and June 2015 and January 2016).
Subject to applicable laws, the Company assumes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or any other reason. Unless otherwise indicated, forward-looking statements in this News Release describe the Company’s expectations as of July 25, 2016.
TriMetals Mining Inc. Contact:
President & CEO
Chief Financial Officer