Kazakh Group Seeks $400 Million Kyrgyz Gold Mine Compensation

Visor Group, a Kazakh private-equity investment company, said its partners filed an arbitration claim March 13 against Kyrgyzstan over its interest in a gold deposit.

Visor is seeking more than $400 million at the World Bank’s International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes for the expropriation of its interest in the Jerooy gold deposit, according to an e-mailed statement today from the company based in Almaty, Kazakhstan. The Kyrgyz government’s press office didn’t reply to an e-mailed request for comment sent after working hours. No contact phone number is listed on the government’s website.

Visor owns 60 percent of the shares in Jerooyaltyn CJSC, a joint venture with a Kyrgyz state-owned company formed to develop the deposit, it said. The damages were caused by the Kyrgyz government annulling Jerooyaltyn’s license, attempting to liquidate the joint venture, failing to provide documentation, land plots and other cooperation necessary for developing the deposit and treating Jerooyaltyn unfairly in Kyrgyz courts, Visor said.

“This expropriation and unfair and inequitable treatment violated Visor’s rights under international treaties and Kyrgyz law,” according to the statement.

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