El Salvador prevails in long-running “Pacific Rim” arbitration

A Canadian-Australian mining firm, Oceana Gold, has announced today that arbitrators have dismissed the company’s claims against the Republic of El Salvador.

The development comes in the arbitration between Pac Rim Cayman LLC and El Salvador at the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes, a dispute arising out of El Salvador’s de-facto moratorium on further mining activity in the tiny Central American nation.

Oceana acquired Pacific Rim Mining Corp in November of 2013, and thereby inherited Pac Rim’s long-running arbitration against El Salvador.

As we reported in 2012, a tribunal of V.V. Veeder, Guido Tawil and Brigitte Stern had earlier declined jurisdiction over the investor’s claims under the U.S.-Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA). However, the tribunal agreed to hear the merits of parallel claims that El Salvador had breached a domestic investment protection law.

According to Oceana’s statement today, those remaining claims have been dismissed in an award rendered today and El Salvador has been awarded $8 million to cover its legal fees and costs.

Once the award is released to the public, IAReporter will review and analyze it in fuller detail. [UPDATE: we have since obtained the award and have discussed it in this companion article.]

In the mean time, our detailed discussion of the legal arguments in the case can be found here and here.