US federal court registers $1.2 billion judgment for Rusoro against Venezuela

Latin America Herald Tribune | 5 March 2018

US federal court registers $1.2 billion judgment for Rusoro against Venezuela

U.S. Federal District Court Judge Richard J. Leon has ordered Rusoro’s $1.2 billion ICSID Expropriation award against Venezuela registered in the U.S.

Rusoro had originally initiated the arbitration at the World Bank’s International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) against Venezuela on August 1, 2012 and received its $1.2 billion award from ICSID on August 22, 2016.

Rusoro then took that ICSID judgment to U.S. Federal Court in Washington, D.C. on October 10, 2016 to register the award so that they could begin to collect on the judgment in the U.S. against Venezuela assets.

"For the third time in as many years, Respondent Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela finds itself before the US District Court of the District of Columbia opposing the confirmation of an arbitral award flowing from its expropriation of foreign gold mining assets," begins Judge Leon, alluding to the successful registration of the Crystallex and Gold Reserve awards. "Unfortunately for Venezuela, its third time is not a charm...."

Rusoro, a company with Russian capital that is based in Vancouver, Canada, had two mines in production in Venezuela: the Choco 10 mine (previously operated by Goldfields) and the Isidora mine, both near the southeastern town of El Callao.

It had a 95 percent ownership in the Choco 10 mine, while the Isidora mine was a 50-50 joint venture with the Venezuelan government.

The company said it extracted 110,000 ounces of gold last from both mines in 2010, although its highest output total came in 2009, when gold production totaled 150,460 ounces.

Venezuela President Hugo Chavez had expropriated Rusoro’s gold mining interests on August 23, 2011.