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11/25/14

Bear Creek (BCM.v), Peru, law suits, Puno elections (from IKN289)

Here's what subscribers read on Sunday about Bear Creek Mining (BCM.v) and its lawsuit with the government of Peru over the Santa Ana project, plus an update on how the run-off election for governor of Puno region, set for a December 7th vote, is going.

You get to read it Tuesday morning.

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Peru: More on the Bear Creek Santa Ana developments
On the blog Friday I reported the development in the Bear Creek (BCM.v) Santa Ana vs Peru government case, in which the company had reportedly dropped its court action against the State (33). It turns out to be true, but the reason behind the BCM.v is more straightforward than first met the eye. Even though local anti-Santa Ana leaders in the Puno region were quick to claim a victory on the back of the move (34) it turns out that the dropping of the case in the national courtrooms was a requirement for the case to continue and be heard in the International CIADI/ICSID tribunal (the body attached to the World Bank that hears international arbitration cases and gives unappealable verdicts). In the words of this report in local Puno media Pachamama (35) on Friday evening (translated) “...a spokesperson for the Canadian mining company told Pachamama Radio that under the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Peru and Canada, the company had taken its case to the CIADI tribunal in order to resolve the controversy”. However, the spokesperson said that in order to hear that case at this international court, all judicial processes in Peru had to be stopped, which is why the company asked for the case it had brought in 2012 against the Mining and Energy Ministry, The Defence Ministry and the National Executive of Peru to be stood down.

To my surprise BCM didn’t make any sort of announcement about this material event last week. It should do soon (unless the Canadian authorities are even more lax than I suspect) and when it does, we should expect them to state that they are now concentrating 100% on the international arbitration body (as well as their absolute confidence in winning etc etc). Although the shelving of the Peru court case doesn’t preclude an out of court settlement between the two parties, we should now expect the dispute to go the full distance at CIADI/ICSID and that’s a question of perhaps a couple of years in realistic terms before a verdict is reached (though a judgment in 2015 isn’t out of the question). Bottom line: Santa Ana BCM vs Peru continues, but don’t hold your breath.

In other news, polling in Puno region has Luque on 54% and Aduviri on 46% for the December 7th run-off vote. That’s closer than I expected (though the polls are not particularly reliable in Puno region), but fits with word received that Luque has been keeping a low public declarations profile and allowing Walter Aduviri to make more of local media channels to promote his cause and detract from that of his rival, as he’s been using plenty of negative attacks. The two candidates will meet next Sunday evening November 30th in live debate, at which point we’ll have a clearer picture.