According to the company, it had been conducting exploration activities on the SMP project since 2006, culminating in an NI-43-101-compliant, drill-defined mineral resource. Subsequently, it applied for and was granted four retention licences covering the resource area.
However, in 2017, Tanzania announced wide-ranging amendments to its mining regulation, which led to “retention licence” classification being abolished. Subsequently, Winshear’s retention licences were cancelled in 2018, and the rights to the licensed areas were transferred to the government.
In late 2019, the Mining Commission of Tanzania announced a public invitation to tender for the joint development of areas previously covered by the company’s licences. According to Winshear, the abolition of the SMP retention licences and the removal of the rights to the land conferred thereunder has rendered its project “valueless”.
As a response to what it considers to be an “illegal expropriation of the SMP gold project” by the Tanzanian government resulting in the loss of a mining asset, Winshear commenced international arbitration proceedings in July 2020, seeking compensation commensurate with its historic investment in Tanzania and the value of the project at the time that tenure was “expropriated”.
In a press release on Monday, Winshear CEO Richard Williams stated: “This settlement is good for both Tanzania and Winshear and we are pleased to reach a mutually acceptable conclusion to this matter. It is time for both Parties to move on and we wish Tanzania success in attracting new investment.”
Winshear is one of three mining companies that have requested compensation from the Tanzania government through the ICSID tribunal over licence expropriation claims.
Earlier this year, Indiana Resources (ASX: IDA) also settled its dispute with the African nation, with the ICSID awarding $109 million to the Australia-listed miner for “unlawfully expropriation” of the Ntaka Hill nickel project.