Indiana awarded $109m pay-out from Tanzania

18th July 2023

By: Esmarie Iannucci

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor: Australasia


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PERTH ( – The government of Tanzania has been ordered to pay more than $109.5-million in restitution to ASX-listed Indiana Resources for the reported "unlawful expropriation" of the company’s Ntaka Hill nickel project.

The International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), which is part of the World Bank, has now closed the arbitration proceedings, with a tribunal unanimously finding that the government of Tanzania in 2018 breached the UK-Tanzania Bilateral Investment Treaty.

The African nation’s government in 2015 issued a retention licence for the Ntaka Hill project, which had been valid for a period of five years, but in 2017 amended the Mining Act and abolished the legislative basis for the retention licence classification, with no replacement classification.

In 2018, the government published the Mining Regulations, making it clear that retention licences no longer existed, and that the underlying rights over all areas under retention licences would revert back to the government.

Indiana said on Tuesday that between January 2018 and December 2019, the company had actively engaged with the Tanzanian government in an effort to resolve a suitable tenure mechanism for the Project Licence to be reinstated, and that the government had reassured the company that its historical investment would be recognised and that its rights would be respected and protected.

However, by December 2019, the government had announced a public invitation to tender for the joint development areas previously covered by the Ntaka Hill retention licence, but did not issue the public invitation to Indiana or its joint venture partners.

Furthermore, while the initial invitation provided that the successful bidder had to compensate the previous retention licence holder for its exploration costs, a new invitation to tender was published one day later removing the requirement of compensation.

The arbitration tribunal has now ordered the government of Tanzania to pay $76.7-million in damages and additional losses, as well as compounded interest at a rate of 2% above the US dollar prime rate on the amount awarded from January 2018 to the date of payment.

The tribunal has also decided that the cost of the arbitration should be borne by Tanzania.

“I am delighted that we have received the Award from ICSID, and that the amount of the award reflects the substantial investment that has been lost by shareholders through Tanzania’s unlawful expropriation of Ntaka Hill. My message to shareholders has been consistent – we had a clear and compelling position to support our claim for compensation and have worked tirelessly for five years to ensure that we maintained our position with strength and determination,” said Indiana executive chairperson Bronwyn Barnes.

“The conclusion of arbitration proceedings brings me great satisfaction, and I would like to sincerely thank those shareholders who have supported the company during that time.

“We now move to the enforcement phase. The ICSID Convention has been ratified by 158 member states of the World Bank - including Tanzania. This means that any award issued by an ICSID tribunal is enforceable in any one of those 158 member states as if it were a judgment of one of their own courts. We have consistently said that we would look to enforce an award against Tanzania, and that work will commence now. I will keep shareholders updated as we progress.”

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter



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