TO ALL CREDITORS & SHAREHOLDERS
OXUS GOLD PLC (THE COMPANY) - IN ADMINISTRATION
We refer to the decision of the Paris Court of Appeal (the Court) of 31 October 2017.
This decision dismisses Uzbekistans appeal against the Court Order of 19 January 2017 which rejected Uzbekistans admissibility objection against the Companys Partial Annulment Application and confirms that Order.
The Court also ordered Uzbekistan to pay EUR 8,000 of costs on the basis of Article 700 of the French Code of Civil Procedure.
The Court has now set a timetable for submissions on the merits of the Companys Partial Annulment Application and has also set the hearing date for 26 March 2019. The Administrators had hoped to obtain an earlier date for the hearing, but this degree of delay is not unusual in the Court. However, we are pleased that Uzbekistans technical objections to the admissibility of the Companys Partial Annulment Application have been dismissed in their entirety and that the proceedings on the partial annulment of the Award may now proceed.
Following the hearing on the merits of the Companys Partial Annulment Application, we would expect a final decision to be issued by the Court in mid to late 2019, which is later than we had been anticipating.
We regret that no further information can be given at this stage regarding these proceedings.
This statement is dated 15 November 2017 and is given by:
Oxus Gold Plc In Administration
Acting by its Administrators as its agents and without personal liability
Marcus Elliott Sturdee Edwards-Jones, Non-Executive Chairman
Dennis Leslie Thomas, Chief Executive Officer
Richard Vaughan Lindsay Wilkins, Chief Financial Officer
Roger William Turner, Chief Technical Officer and Non-Executive Director
Andre Cohen, Non-Executive Director
Pug, that's right regarding the £20m or a bit more figure. There are very few creditors aside from Calunius and those that exist have small claims.
Richard Shead is active in lobbying or liasing with the administrators to try and ensure all parties interests are protected.
Nobull is right to say that only 20% of parties seeking an arbitration decision anullment in the French courts succeed. I wouldn't say that translates into Oxus only having a 20% chance of success. It's perhaps wishful thinking on my part, but the fact that the Company had seemingly open-ended time to appeal might reflect that the appeal is being made on very strong grounds. Oddly, the time limit went from the administrators specifying 'end of the month' to seemingly no time limit whatsoever.
It will take a long time and an appeal is unlikely to be made before year end although there's a large element of guess work in that due to the scarcity of information.
Once this reaches the French courts there should be more transparency and information available. Nobody other than Calunius, the lawyers and administrators knows the grounds for appeal.
It may be in Calunius's interests to keep funding the administration because if Oxus went into liquidation the claim might be so good that someone might buy it. Calunius, understandably, will act in their own interests and, as pointed out, we don't know if they are funding matters to get the Uzbeks to cough up their circa £10m or, alternatively, perhaps they have sufficient information and confidence to pursue it for the full distance with potential positive knock-on benefits for shareholders.
The part of French Law that appears to allow an appeal and may be applicable to Oxus relates to if a decision is against 'international policy'. Nobody is completely clear on the scope that gives in relation to Oxus's case. This is just guess work and mad eon the basis that none of the other reasons for appeal - due process failures etc - appear to apply.
The fact that the arbitrators supported their decision incorrectly by stating that Oxus received a dividend ($60m?) relating to Uzbek operations is inexplicably inept, significant and strange. The idea of arbitration is to keep things away from the national courts and it appears factual errors alone are insufficient justification for appeal. I hope and assume the 'international policy' option (or whatever grounds the lawyers have founded the appeal case on) opens up the opportunity for this issue to be raised. Rejecting the expropriation on false reasoning dressed up as 'fact' is bizarre and, although I could use other potentially libellous words, let's say 'curious'.
There was some discussion on getting investigative journalists on the case. Obviously firms specialising in this are expensive, however, there are free options and I intend to contact Private Eye and also any similar magazines in France and the U.S. Perhaps the former Ambassador to Uzbekistan, Craig Murray, might wish to cover the story and have a few contacts. In most instances I don't think any magazine would want to cover a failed arbtration for a small resources company, however, there is an international angle with regards to the U.S. having reason to avoid any instability or political fall-out in Uzbekistan. That combined with the 'curious' errors might make someone want to take a closer look. The human rights issue with Said Ashurov might be of interest to journalists such as Jon Pilger. No harm in trying before adapting a long-term wait and see approach to this.
So, in short, it will be a long process and there is an an absence of clear information presently to assess both time and prospects for a return. It's best not to raise expectations but there remains a chance of a return but it's not going to come quickly. I'll be awaiting the start of proceedings in the French courts with keen interest to see the basis of the appeal.
Proceedings already initiated to set aside Final Award. Wouldn't be spending money doing that unless there was experienced senior Counsel opinion that there were good prospects of success and a far larger Final Award. Must have been some real irregularities with the initial decision. Who would have thought?
As far as I know there are no appeals for UNCITRAL arbitration decisions.
They key thing is that the report doesn't highlight any wrong doing on the part of Oxus, thus the majority decisions smells rather bad, as does not appear sound as there clearly was no skeleton in the Oxus cupboard.
Doubt there is any further legal recourse. Just a failed legal system, or bribed panelists.
If you register with law360 using the link above, then underneath the summary of the arbitral tribunals judgement are direct links to 2 pdf documents on the law360 site ; the full 400 page Final Award and also Lalondes Dissenting Opinion.
Marc Lammonds dissenting reporting report is out also, which is very telling indeed.
iIt focuses on the Uzbeks intentionally undermining the due diligence of the chinese government, by carrying at out a number of aggressive actions against Oxus whilst the due diligence was being carried out, including: calling for AGF's liquidation, refusal to gant the mining license and sueing for the outstanding special dividend payment. The latter which only seemed to have occured because Oxus were sensible enough hedge gold price and exchange rate fluctuations.
Reads like a stinking t**d, and I really can't see how the panel got away with this criminal decision. So I think the reason that they sought to supress publication is pretty clear.
I agree , I see very little chance of any positive outcomes from appeals , I think wider geopolitical influences in the region largely decided this one - Exit route for an Afghanistan withdrawal, a lack of will to try and inflame / enforce another west/east/russia conflict in the area, I am not massively surprised , I had about 500 pounds in for about 6 years so it has been interesting to follow , onward and upward , - clin.l plus pphe.l have more than balanced my losses over the same period same old eggs and baskets thing I learned at primary school ;-) , If only they had run basket assessment classes! :-)
.....The Uzbeks own the mine, always did, Oxus only ever had a license to mine which the arbitration process determined was forfeited by Oxus due to their non performance of the contract.
Which ever way you look at it, Oxus lost; anybody who claims $400mio and gets only $10mio + a bit of interest can only considered this as a loss. There are also the court fees to pay along with lawyers etc....
Am I happy it went this way ? No I'm not but in the same respect i am not surprised either.
OK I understand that the case was lost , quite possibly some large scale geo politics behind the scenes had an influence , the great game continues ...
what I don't quite understand is who now owns what? As far as I can see neither the Uzbek government nor Oxus now seem to have a clear claim on the mine ?
Uzbekistan's counter-claims have been dismissed in their entirety for lack of jurisdiction. The Tribunal ordered each party to bear its own costs, and to each pay half of the Tribunal's fees and expenses.
a. Fair and equitable treatment
Almost every BIT requires the host state to provide fair and equitable treatment.38 The precise scope of this standard of treatment is unclear. At least two tribunals have interpreted the standard literally, simply deciding whether the states conduct was fair and equitable.39 Some countries have rejected this standard as too high.40 Furthermore, it is unclear whether the standard is uniform across countries or depends on the countrys level of development.41
While the precise scope of the standard is unclear, it is possible to identify elements of the standard on which many tribunals have agreed. All tribunals agree that the fair and equitable treatment standard protects against denial of justice. A state denying a foreign investor access to the justice system or administering that justice system unfairly can commit a denial of justice.42
Some tribunals agree that the fair and equitable treatment obligation protects the investors legitimate expectations.43 Tribunals have found that states failed to protect the investors legitimate expectations and, therefore, failed to provide fair and equitable treatment by:
failing to fulfill representations to the investor that an investment permit would be renewed;44
issuing an investment permit for an urban renewal project that was inconsistent with local planning laws45; and
reneging on a commitment to sell shares to an investor.46
Among those tribunals that agree the fair and equitable treatment standard requires the state to protect the investors legitimate expectations, there is little consensus on what, precisely, investors ought legitimately expect .
Every case is different , of course we rely on our BOD to present a good case .
Oxus by the way didn`t lose , I am sure the $10 million will be enough for the third party funders to get their money back.
As usual , just the shareholders are disregarded
Still its not over till the fat lady sings - maybe an appeal - but very very long shot
500k shares thankfully from many trades equates to a £7k loss (could have sold for £15k yesterday) - pretty annoying as this has been a good year. oh well offset against gains for CGT - every cloud has a silver lining!
Could take a while for it to sink in with Mrs Rex , mainly because I haven't told her yet . Probably tell her in the new year , around Spring time when the suns out . That way I might survive !
Happy new year eh.
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