Pan African Minerals, a private unit of Timis Mining, had its US$2.2-billion claim thrown out of a Burkina Faso court this week.
Pan African Minerals, a private unit of Timis Mining, had its US$2.2-billion claim thrown out of an international court of arbitration this week.
The battery metals miner previously operated the Tambao project in Burkina Faso, one of the world’s largest manganese mines. The company was forced to stop activities in 2015 when then-sitting President Blaise Compaore was ousted in the general election.
The Africa-focused developer then petitioned the International Chamber of Commerce’s International Court of Arbitration to prevent the company’s permit for Tambao from being withdrawn.
Following the development halt, the new government of Burkina Faso started the process of seeking a new partner to develop what is estimated to be a 100-million-tonne deposit of manganese, a crucial ingredient in steel alloy production and a metal that is increasingly being used in the battery sector.
In April 2018, the government officially announced it was terminating the agreement the previous government entered with Pan African.
The company had hoped the international court of arbitration would rule in its favor and uphold the company’s permitting rights to the Tambao manganese deposit.
Pan African and its parent company Timis Mining believe the resource potential for Tambao is US$2.2 billion.
Unfortunately, this week the court did not see things the way Pan African had hoped.
According to Global Arbitration Review, a legal watchdog, the arbitration court’s ruling determined that “[t]he termination of the contract by Burkina was valid and justified in law.”
In 1994, the manganese mine was in production, prior to Pan African acquiring the permitting rights to Tambao. The open pit was subsequently shuttered due to high transportation costs in and out of the area.
No word yet on which company the country plans to partner with to advance the mega manganese deposit.
The Burkina Faso mining sector has made large strides in the last decade, with most gains being made in the gold sector.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Georgia Williams, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.