Australian Miner Sundance Seeks $8.76 Billion in Damages After Republic of Congo Cancels Iron-Ore Project

Australian mining company Sundance Resources Limited has claimed damages of $8.76 billion after the Republic of Congo removed the company’s permit for the development of the massive Mbalam-Nabeba iron-ore deposit.

Australian mining company Sundance Resources Limited has claimed damages of $8.76 billion after the Republic of Congo removed the company’s permit for the development of  the massive Mbalam-Nabeba iron-ore deposit.

According to the statement released by Sundance on Dec. 21, the value of the compensation is “based on the iron ore price of $154 a ton on the day the notice was lodged,” referring to the decree that the Congolese government issued on Nov. 30 and published in the official gazette.

In the decree signed by President Denis Sassou Nguesso and by four ministers, which media company Bloomberg had obtained and reported, the government terminated the contract for the iron-ore project with Sundance due to several reasons, including incomplete development and non-payment of rights.

Sundance Chief Executive Giulio Casello said in a statement, “This expropriation of iron ore mining permits and exploration licenses by the Republic of Congo is breathtaking in its size and audacity and in contempt of Congo’s mining laws and the government’s oft-stated claims that it upholds its own laws.”

“Sundance will take all steps required to pursue the legal rights of the Company and its subsidiaries and protect the interests of Sundance shareholders,” Casello also said.

Two other Australian-based mining companies — Equatorial Resources and Core Mining Limited Congo — also had their mining permits stripped, granting the permits for Nabeba, Bandodo, and Avima to Sangha Mining Development Sasu, a company based in the Colongese city of Pointe-Noire and whose owners are yet to be known.

Equatorial Resources said that the sudden granting of the permits to Sangha Mining was a “flagrant breach” of the obligations of the Congolese government “under the mining code” and “international law.”


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