South American Silver Corp. (TSX:SAC,OTCQX:SOHAF) announced that a Chairperson has been appointed by the Secretary-General of the Permanent Court of Arbitration to the three-person Arbitration Tribunal in the international arbitration case, which is an important step in the arbitration process. The next step is for the Arbitration Tribunal to set a provisional timetable for the proceedings.
As quoted in the press release:
The arbitration case commenced as a result of acts and omissions of the Bolivian Government, including the issuance of Supreme Decree No.1308 on August 1, 2012 (the “Decree”). The Decree revoked mining concessions covering the Malku Khota project held by Compañia Minera Malku Khota S.A. (CMMK), a wholly-owned subsidiary of South American Silver Limited. These measures resulted in the complete expropriation of the Malku Khota Project without compensation. The arbitration claim is for Bolivia’s breach of the Treaty and international law. Bolivia breached the Treaty’s requirement to provide full protection and security to foreign investors and their investments, as well as the Treaty’s protections against, among other things, expropriation without just and effective compensation, unfair and inequitable treatment, and less favorable treatment than afforded to Bolivian nationals or nationals of third states.
South American Silver Corp. President and CEO, Ralph Fitch, said:
Substantive advances in the process are expected in 2014 with a major step forward being the expected submittal of South American Silver’s Statement of Claim. Following this, Bolivia will submit its Statement of Defense and each party will have the opportunity to reply to each other’s submissions. There will then be an oral hearing in front of the Arbitration Tribunal. It is expected that the arbitration can take up to several years from commencement of proceedings until rendering of a final award, hence any actual cash award, if there is one, would not be expected for some time and not in 2014.