This week, an arbitration tribunal of the World Bank’s International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) issued a decision on the arbitration claims that Tethyan Copper Co. Pty. Ltd. (TCC), a joint venture between Antofagasta and Barrick Gold, filed against the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, in relation to the unlawful denial of a mining lease for the Reko Diq project in 2011.

The ICSID tribunal rejected Pakistan’s final defense against liability, and confirmed that Pakistan had violated several provisions of its bilateral investment treaty with Australia, where TCC is incorporated, Barrick reported.

The damages phase of the proceedings will begin on March 22, during which the tribunal will consider submissions from the parties to determine the amount that Pakistan must pay TCC. A ruling on the quantum of damages is expected in 2018.

The Reko Diq project, located in the Balochistan province of Pakistan, was expected to require an initial capital investment of more than $3 billion. It is one of the world’s largest undeveloped copper and gold deposits, with a potential mine life of more than 50 years.

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