Gold Reserve says open to settlement of $747 mln Venezuela case

Wed Feb 4, 2015 4:55pm EST
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By Alexandra Ulmer

CARACAS Feb 4 (Reuters) - Gold Reserve Inc is in talks with Venezuela about an arbitration award that granted the company more than $740 million and is open to a settlement, its president said on Wednesday.

The World Bank's International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) tribunal last year determined Venezuela must pay the Toronto-listed gold mining company $740.3 million for terminating its Las Brisas gold concession in 2009.

The award, which bears interest of LIBOR plus 2 percent, now stands at nearly $747 million, U.S.-based Gold Reserve President Doug Belanger said in an email.

"This is what the company is looking to collect, but is always serious about considering an amicable solution," Belanger said, adding Venezuela had in the past indicated it was eager to settle.

He declined to comment on the details of current discussions but said that in the past, "no agreement has been reached yet as to how and when payment would be made."

Venezuela applied to annul the award and sought to stay its execution.

But last week a Paris court hearing arguments in the case, because the World Bank's arbitration was "seated," or based there, dismissed the stay request and recognized the ICSID award as a judgment of the court.

"Until such time as an agreement is reached and payment made, Gold Reserve will continue to seek enforcement of its rights in any jurisdiction where it believes it can attach assets in execution of the award," Belanger added.   Continued...