TORONTO (miningweekly.com) – TSX-V-listed Bear Creek Mining on Tuesday said it was moving ahead with arbitration proceedings against the Republic of Peru and was submitting a claim under Article 824 of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Canada and Peru.
The company explained that it had submitted a formal request on Monday and was completing the required formalities to start the arbitration proceedings.
Bear Creek noted that despite it remaining committed to continuing discussions with the Peru government to resolve and settle the dispute relating to the Santa Ana silver project, starting the arbitration proceedings was necessary to preserve its rights under the Canada–Peru FTA. Bear Creek stressed that starting the proceedings against Peru did not preclude it from continuing to participate in settlement negotiations with Peru's government.
“While I would characterise the settlement discussions to date as being productive and significant progress has been made towards an agreement, the protracted discussions have not yet produced a final settlement agreement within the mandated timeframe under the treaty and the company is required to take this action which fully protects Bear Creek’s rights.
“The government of Peru continues to send a clear message that it wishes to resolve this matter and it has committed to maintain the momentum in our negotiations. We too remain committed to working towards an amicable final resolution of the dispute which we hope will occur in the near term,” Bear Creek president and CEO Andrew Swarthout said.
On June 25, 2011, the Peruvian government issued a supreme decree signed by President Alan Garcia, reversing the supreme decree issued in 2007 that granted Bear Creek title over the mineral concessions covering the Santa Ana project. The company maintained that it had complied with all legal requirements in obtaining its rights to title under the 2007 supreme decree. The 2007 decree was required in order for a foreign company to obtain title to mineral rights located within the 50 km border regions of Peru.