Bolivia to appeal ICC ruling over Jindal row

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Bolivia expects to appeal in the coming days a recent ruling by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) over a dispute with Indian steelmaker Jindal Steel & Power.

The government has until September 22 to file the appeal with the ICC, a statement from the mining ministry said.

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Last month the ICC ruled that Bolivia's state steel company Empresa Siderúrgica del Mutún must pay Jindal US$22.5mn, plus accrued interest, as compensation for illegally cashing a US$18mn guarantee linked to Jindal's investment in the El Mutún iron mine.

Bolivia will ask to vacate the ruling, arguing that the ICC took into account a Bolivian civil code that is no longer valid, according to the ministerial release.

Jindal acquired rights in 2007 to develop the Santa Cruz department deposit but pulled out of Bolivia in 2012, citing lack of support from the government of President Evo Morales. Jindal said the government denied access to lands where the project was to be developed.

Meanwhile, Jindal has begun a second ICC arbitration related to the project, seeking US$100mn in damages arising out of the contract termination. After arbitration proceedings began, Bolivia initiated criminal proceedings against Jindal executives and lawyers and seized the company's Bolivian assets.