July 24, 2019

The Australian mining company Jessland has filed an arbitration suit with the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) of the World Bank against the Egyptian state-owned mining company after the Abu Dabab mine license was withdrawn from them.

The Australian company entered into partnership with the Egyptian Mining Authority in 2002 for mining tantalum, which is used in the electronics industry. Jessland says the mine is the world’s largest, with a quarter of the world’s reserves expected to be produced from it.

According to the company’s initial plans, the mine was expected to start production in mid-2010, but the company was affected by the global financial crisis at the end of the first decade of the 21st century. The political instability in Egypt after January 25, 2011, also affected the company’s ability to start work on the project, according to Mike Rosenstrich, president of the Australian company.

Rosenstrich said in a press statement that in the years before 2015, the company noted that their Egyptian partners put obstacles in the way of the project, and that they were responsible for the termination of work permits and official procedures.

“We have heard from our staff in Cairo that a government agency is pressing the Egyptian Mineral Resources Company to refrain from providing the required letters,” said Rosenstrich. “There was a long process of foiling the activities of our company in Egypt, and perhaps there was no intention of allowing the company to work on the project.”

The Australian company is demanding huge compensation for millions of dollars after spending $60 million on feasibility studies and initial business between 2010 and 2015. The company hopes it will be compensated for the loss, according to its director.