Published 31 July 2020
"There can be no other criterion, no other standard than gold. Yes, gold which never changes, which can be shaped into ingots, bars, coins, which has no nationality and which is eternally and universally accepted as the unalterable fiduciary value par excellence" - Charles de Gaulle.
The mining industry is one of the most frequently affected by investor-State arbitration proceedings, as evidenced by the large number of mining arbitrations in the last few decades. A review of 86 cases commenced since 1990 reveals useful statistics and trends in investment disputes involving mineral assets.
Not surprisingly, gold is the most prevalent mineral, but no less than 24 other types of minerals have also been the subject of these disputes. Approximately half of the properties subject of disputes were at production stage. While these disputes have, historically, involved mining projects often located in South America and Africa, many European States have also become respondents more recently.
This paper gives insights into these and other statistics and trends, showing, among others, the States most commonly involved in these disputes, the provisions most commonly found to be breached, and how the amounts claimed compare to the amounts awarded by arbitral tribunals.