The US District Court in Washington D.C. has rejected Pakistan’s motion to stay or dismiss the enforcement of a $6 billion award against the country in the Tethyan Copper Company v. Pakistan case over the lucrative gold and copper Reko Diq mine in Balochistan.
The International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) had imposed a $6 billion fine on Pakistan in July 2019 — one of the largest awards in the ICSID’s history — for revoking the mining company’s contract at Reko Diq, thus breaching the bilateral investment.
Pakistan had been granted a conditional stay of enforcement, but the stay was lifted in 2020 after Pakistan failed to meet conditions laid out by the court, as reported in the Tribune.
The court stated that Pakistan was essentially deploying the same argument in maintaining that since no valid arbitration agreement existed between the two parties, Pakistan had not not waived its sovereign immunity under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA).
The court noted that Tethyan Copper had been waiting for compensation for over a decade, emphasizing that the court’s current order was final and obliged Pakistan to ‘abide by and comply with the award’.
Reqo Dek holds an estimated 12..3 million tonnes of copper and 20.9 million ounces of gold, making it one the world’s largest copper and gold deposits. Since the 1990s, the mining of this lucrative resource has been mired with allegations of corruption and breached contracts.