UN court won’t dismiss Stans Energy claims against Kyrgyz Republic

Canadian-based rare earths and lithium junior Stans Energy (TSX-V:HRE), said Thursday the UN Permanent Court of Arbitration won’t dismiss its claim for compensation from the Kyrgyz Republic for revoking its mining licences in 2014.

The decision means the $210 million arbitration against the Kyrgyz Republic will advance to the merits stage, the company said.

Long-dragged case revolves around the company’s 20-year mining license for the past-producing Kutessay II open pit rare earth mine and the Kalesay property.

“We are pleased that the Tribunal has confirmed its jurisdiction in our dispute with the Republic,” the company’s President and CEO said in a statement.

The long-dragged case revolves around the company’s 20-year mining license for the past-producing Kutessay II open pit rare earth mine, which the junior acquired in 2009, as well as the rights to the Kalesay property.

A Kyrgyz parliamentary committee revoked later such permits, claiming the acquisition process was tainted.

The decision forced Stans to file a lawsuit against the Kyrgyz government, demanding $118 million plus interest in compensation and won the trial, but it has never been able to actually get the money, due to a series of legal loopholes, including a Moscow-court decision to hold off the millions Stans Energy was expecting.

Stans efforts to enforce a separate arbitral award worth $118 million were rejected twice by Canadian courts, which prevented the miner from seizing assets belonging to state-owned company Kyrgyzaltyn JSC.

In the meantime, the properties have been put up for tender again and, according to Investortel, the cost of the licences was pegged at $10 million.