The Gambia government has filed a notice of annulment of a decision by the International Centre for Settlement Investment Disputes (ICSID) awarding $31 million Australian Dollars to Astron Corporation Limited, the parent company of Carnegie Mineral.
In July this year, ICSID found The Gambia government on the wrong side and determined the award which included damages in favour of Aston/Carnegie. The fight resulted after Carnegie filed claims against the West African nation.
“Astron has now been notified that The Gambia has submitted an application for annulment to ICSID, on the grounds of the constitution of the arbitral tribunal, and arguments about admissibility and jurisdiction,” Astron announced in a statement. “An application for annulment is the only form of action open to The Gambia under the ICSID rules, as there is no form of appeal process. In due course ICSID will appoint a panel of 3 arbitrators to form a committee to determine whether the Award should be annulled in whole or in part.”
Though Astron has not been provided the properly particularised grounds for the application from The Gambia, the company hopes “this application will be strenuously opposed.”
Both parties made submissions on damages to the ICSID after a successful finding in Astron/Carnegie’s favour. The arbitration body ruled in favour of Astron/Carnegie. In that the Jammeh administration was fined US$18, 658, 358 in damages for breach of the mining licence, interest of US$993, 683, arbitration costs of US$445, 860 (minus any sums refunded to Astron by ICSID on its final accounting) and £2, 250, 000 for legal costs. The total fine stands at $31 million Australian Dollars.
The Gambia decides to contest the ruling to avoid or slow down Astron’s application for the enforcement of the judgment.