Crystallex International Corporation
(CRYFQ: OTCBB Marketplace)
Head Office: Toronto, Canada
Crystallex has a successful record of developing and operating gold mines in Venezuela and elsewhere in South America. Crystallex is headquartered in Toronto, Canada. The Company’s shares are traded on the OTCBB Marketplace under the symbol CRYFQ.
In September 2002, Crystallex was awarded a Mine Operating Contract (the “MOC”) to develop and exploit the gold deposits on the Las Cristinas concessions. Las Cristinas, located in Bolivar State in southeastern Venezuela, is one of the world’s largest undeveloped gold deposits with Measured and Indicated resources of 21 million ounces of gold containing 17 million ounces of proven and probable reserves calculated at a gold price of $550 per ounce. Crystallex’s exploration efforts to date indicate that gold mineralization at Las Cristinas remains open at depth and in certain areas at surface. Las Cristinas thus has considerable potential to grow even further.
Under the terms of the MOC, Crystallex undertook geological, feasibility and environmental studies, completed detailed engineering work, awarded construction contracts, purchased equipment, employed staff at the mine site and secured, refurbished and maintained the existing facilities. In addition, Crystallex completed, as obligated under the MOC, a number of community social programs, including building houses, upgrading water treatment plants, installing a sewage network and sewage treatment plant and constructing a medical facility. Las Cristinas was advanced to the point of commencing earth moving development activities.
Since 2002, Crystallex complied with all terms of the MOC. With the approval of the Feasibility Study in 2004 and the Environmental Impact Study in 2007, along with meeting other requirements, Crystallex fulfilled all the conditions necessary for the grant of the permit to commence mine development at Las Cristinas. In 2008, in contradiction to the legal framework in Venezuela as well as the Government approvals, the Government of Venezuela denied Crystallex the permit to develop Las Cristinas. Despite Crystallex’s continued compliance with the MOC and efforts to reach an amicable solution, the Government of Venezuela unilaterally cancelled the MOC on February 3, 2011.
By denying the permit, unilaterally terminating the MOC, along with other measures, the Government of Venezuela has illegally expropriated Crystallex’s investments in Las Cristinas and eliminated the opportunity to develop a mine. As a result, Crystallex filed a Request for Arbitration on February 16, 2011 under the Additional Facility Rules of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes, (“ICSID”) of the World Bank in Washington, D.C. against the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela pursuant to the Agreement between the Government of Canada and the Government of the Republic of Venezuela for the Promotion and Protection of Investments, (the“Treaty”). The claim is for breach of the Treaty’s protections against expropriation, unfair and inequitable treatment and discrimination.