CARACAS, Sept 22 The International Centre for
Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) determined Venezuela
must pay U.S.-based miner Gold Reserve $740.3 million
for terminating its Las Brisas gold concession, the company said
Socialist-run Venezuela in 2009 formally ended the
concession in one of Latin America's largest gold deposits as
part of a strategy to increase state control of key economic
Gold Reserve then sought $2.1 billion in damages at the
World Bank's ICSID for what it deemed an expropriation.
"While the company is pleased with the award, it is less
than the value of the Brisas project at today's gold and copper
prices and Venezuela will substantially benefit from the
development of the mine," the company said in a statement on its
"We are hopeful that Venezuela will satisfy its obligations
to the company without delay and without any further legal
proceeding," Gold Reserve President Doug Belanger added.
"Should they fail to do so, we are prepared to pursue all
available means to ensure that the amount awarded to the company
is recovered in full."
The award comes at a tricky time for the South American OPEC
country, which is struggling to shore up its coffers amid an
Venezuela faces about 20 international compensation cases in
disputes largely stemming from the 1999-2013 Hugo Chavez era.
The late president nationalized large swaths of the economy,
including mines, factories and oil fields, saying Venezuela
should have ownership of its strategic resources.
The government did not respond to requests for comments.
There were no details on the ICSID website.
(Reporting by Alexandra Ulmer; Editing by Ken Wills)