SAN SALVADOR, April 18 El Salvador froze bank
accounts and assets belonging to OceanaGold Corp after
the mining company refused to pay the country $8 million as
mandated by an international court, the Attorney General's
Office said on Tuesday.
Last year, El Salvador won an arbitration at the World
Bank's International Center for Settlements of Investment
Disputes (ICSID) against the Australian-Canadian mining firm,
which sought $250 million from the Central American nation for
revoking an extraction permit.
In its ruling, ICSID ordered OceanaGold to pay $8 million to
El Salvador for legal fees. OceanaGold refused, according to the
Attorney General's Office.
OceanaGold could not be reached for comment outside of
regular business hours late on Tuesday.
The asset freeze was authorized by the Supreme Court to
ensure payment compliance.
It includes three bank accounts valued at nearly $200,000,
seven vehicles and nine properties located in the municipality
of San Isidro Cabañas, 70 kilometers (43.5 miles) northeast of
the capital, where the company carried out exploration projects.
The Salvadoran Congress passed a law in March that prohibits
any type of metal mining for the purpose of protecting natural
(Reporting by Nelson Renteria)