Holland & Knight Helps Secure Arbitration Win for Eco Oro in Claims Against Colombia
BOGOTÁ (September 13, 2021) – Holland & Knight, along with co-counsel Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, successfully represented Eco Oro Minerals Corp. (CSE: EOM) in its dispute with the Republic of Colombia before the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). Eco Oro brought claims against Colombia under the investment protection chapter of the Free Trade Agreement between Canada and Colombia. On Sept. 9, 2021, the arbitral tribunal found that Colombia breached Article 805 of the treaty in its treatment of Eco Oro's investment in the Angostura gold and silver mining project located in northeastern Colombia.
Over the course of 20 years, Eco Oro invested hundreds of millions of dollars in developing the Angostura Project and was lauded for its social programs and environmental practices, receiving awards both internationally and from the Colombian authorities. However, in 2016, Colombia took measures to prohibit mining in the area, depriving the company of the value of its investment without compensation, estimated at $700 million.
The tribunal's decision upheld Eco Oro's claims that Colombia breached Article 805 of the treaty, by failing to give fair and equitable treatment to Eco Oro's investments in Colombia relating to the Angostura Project. The amount of compensation will be decided at a later date.
Holland & Knight Partner José Vicente Zapata and Senior Counsel Juan Casallas represented Eco Oro in the dispute with their co-counsel from Freshfields.