The High Court of Justice (HCJ) in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) has adjourned the hearing of the case regarding the enforcement of the $6 billion award against Pakistan in the Reko Diq case till 18 January.
On 20 November 2020, Tethyan Copper Company (TCC) had approached the HCJ for enforcement of the $6 billion award against Pakistan by the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).
On 16 December 2020, the HCJ had issued a stay order ex-parte without hearing Pakistan, freezing the assets belonging to Pakistan International Airlines Investment Limited (PIAIL), including the company’s shares in Roosevelt Hotel in Manhattan, Scribe Hotel in Central Paris, and Minhal Incorporated.
Moreover, the HCJ had appointed Paul Pretlove of Kalo Advisors as the receiver on an interim basis in its 16 December order. Paul Pretlove has now been tasked with ensuring that none of the PIAIL’s assets are sold below market rate and proceeds of all sales are transferred to TCC.
A senior government official privy to the matter has said that “Pakistan’s government has engaged a team of lawyers from international firms and will contest the case to ensure that no further adverse effect takes place against our institutions and its properties.”
Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP) has stated that the “government is vigorously pursuing the proceedings initiated by TCC in any jurisdiction, reaffirming the government’s commitment to protecting the national assets.”
In July 2019, the ICSID had imposed a $6 billion penalty on Pakistan following the Supreme Court’s decision in 2011 which revoked the mining lease of TCC, a consortium of Chilean and Canadian companies, for the Reko Diq project.
Reko Diq, a small town in Chagai, Balochistan, has the biggest gold and copper deposits in Pakistan. Once fully developed, 250,000 ounces of gold and 200,000 tons of copper can be extracted from the mines each year for the next 50 years.