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Timis may seek US$4B in damages from Burkina Faso over Tambao license suspension

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Timis may seek US$4B in damages from Burkina Faso over Tambao license suspension

Timis Mining Corp. Ltd.'s Pan African Minerals Ltd. unit said it may seek up to US$4 billion in damages from the government of Burkina Faso, claiming it was forced to stop the development of the Tambao manganese deposit, Bloomberg News reported Dec. 9.

The group on Dec. 2 petitioned the International Court of Arbitration in Paris to protect its permit over the project, which has been "completely suspended" since June 2015.

In March 2015, the government ordered Pan African Minerals to stop production at the Tambao mine amid a review of the US$1 billion project's development permit.

The review of Tambao's permit was part of the transitional government's wider process of going through contracts awarded under former President Blaise Compaore's 27-year rule, prior to being ousted in October 2014.

A parliamentary committee of inquiry in October recommended that Pan African Minerals' permit be withdrawn and given to a different company.

Managing Director Souleymane Mihin said the parliamentary report "constitutes a risk of serious irreparable prejudice," and the company went to court to save its license.

Meanwhile, Mines Minister Alfa Omar Dissa urged the company to not go to court until it has exhausted all local mediation options over the dispute to develop Tambao.