MetalNRG plc (“MetalNRG” or the “Company”) provides an update on developments in connection with its investment in International Mining Company Invest (“IMC”) the indirect investment in IMC’s uranium asset in Kyrgyzstan.
As previously announced, the Parliament in Kyrgyzstan imposed a ban on all exploitation of uranium in country in April 2019, whilst, on 22 January 2019, the Government had granted IMC a mining licence for the mining of uranium within IMC’s Kamyshanovskoye uranium deposit.
The deposit holds a resource of JORC Measured and Indicated 1,410,600 kg U = 3,653,454 lb U3O8; while JORC inferred is 1,960,500 kg U = 5,077,695 lb U3O8 . The cost of the uranium in the ground is based on the price of U3O8 per pound (lb) at the time of calculation. The current price is US$ 50.8/lb U3O8. The estimated current value of the asset is accordingly in the region of US$ 151 million.
At the time of the ban, MetalNRG held a 9.9% equity interest in the asset; since the ban, MetalNRG has supported IMC with a convertible loan facility for a total of US$ 341,441 to date. The agreement between IMC and MetalNRG provides that repayment of the convertible loan facility is either (i) via a conversion at 3 times the principal amount advanced into equity in IMC, if the project is reinstated; or (ii) repayment of 300% of the principal amount advanced in cash, in the event that IMC receives or reaches a compensatory settlement with the government of Kyrgyzstan.
Following many months of negotiations with the incumbent Government, IMC has now filed for arbitration with the International Centre for Settlements of Investment disputes (the “ICSID”).
IMC’s claim before the ICSID is for a minimum compensatory payment of US$ 63 million, plus interest and legal fees, to be assessed. The ICSID tribunal designated to hear the claims has now been constituted and the first hearing is scheduled for 9 March 2023.
The legal firm representing IMC, ENYO Law, who are based in London, have agreed a contingent fee arrangement based on the successful outcome of the claims presented to the ICSID. ENYO Law will receive 50% of any sums awarded, after the deduction of legal expenses. The balance of any award will be due to IMC (which will then distribute any sum on the basis of the arrangements currently in place with MetalNRG. If the case is lost before the ICSID, IMC has no obligations or liability for legal Enyo Law’s fees. Further details are available on https://icsid.worldbank.org/cases/case-database/case-detail?CaseNo=ARB/22/25 .
Rolf Gerritsen, CEO, commented:
“After months of negotiations, IMC, with our support, has decided to proceed to arbitration and seek a full compensation for the projected benefits the project would have created”.
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