Alamos Gold, a Canadian mining co, is reportedly posing as a Dutch investor to bring an investment treaty claim against Turkey c. 1 billion USD for non-renewal of its license to extract gold in an ecological site. There's been strong community resistance to the project.
It is estimated that the company already destroyed 350.000 trees in the area to make way for gold exploration. The initial 10 year license that the company had was not renewed due to ecological concerns. The company had not yet started production.
The company is demanding an exorbitant amount in damages. It can do so in the system of investment arbitration where damages are calculated in the most ridiculous ways.
Not only Alamos Gold destroyed a precious ecological site, but it can still profit enormously (not just recovering sunk costs) despite the project not going ahead. The government should have never granted a license to exploit gold in this ecologically precious site.
But the non-renewal of the license was a duty of the state to prevent further and irreversible damage. There's only a small possibility that the rights of the local communities as well as the future of our planet will be factored in the dispute resolution process.
States reforming their investment treaties should pay attention to how they define protected investors. As in this case, investor definitions can act as a gateway for investors to pose as nationals of states to which they have no genuine connections.
Reportedly, the company had already received compensation from the government upon the non-renewal of its license - despite failing to rehabilitate the mining site as it was conditioned it its license. @ozlemzingil have you heard anything about this?
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