Pacific Rim says arbitration tribunal formed for El Salvador case

20th November 2009 By: Liezel Hill

TORONTO (miningweekly.com) – An arbitration case brought by Pacific Rim Mining against the government of El Salvador will move ahead, as the arbitration tribunal has now been constituted, the company reported on Thursday.

Pacific Rim embarked on arbitration proceedings because of the government's failure to issue permits for the company's El Dorado project, three years after Pacific Rim submitted a mine design to authorities.

The company claims the government has breached international and Salvadoran law in its “improper failure to finalize the permitting process as it is required to do and to respect the company's and the enterprises' legal rights to develop mining activities in El Salvador”.

Pacific Rim said it has received notice from the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes that the three nominees for arbitrators in the action have accepted their appointments.

"This is a key milestone in Pac Rim's claim as the arbitration process will now get fully under way," CEO Tom Shrake said in a statement.

"The next step is for the arbitral tribunal to convene a hearing to set out the further procedures in the arbitration.”

The company wants the arbitration to proceed as quickly as possible, but will continue to maintain a dialogue with the government of El Salvador, in the hopes of reaching a resolution, he said.

Shares in TSX- and Amex-listed Pacific Rim slid 4,3% on Thursday, to 22,5 Canadian cents by 15:27 in Toronto.