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Message: Touadéra seeks compromise with Axmin over Ndassima goldmine
This article came out June 8th 2021 via African Intelligence, the same site that first reported Axmin losing their mineral rights in 2020. Therefore the credibility of this website's intel has legitimacy.
Below is the paid link, and also the free link, which has been translated from French to English:
Ndassima gold mine: Touadéra seeks a compromise with the Canadian company Axmin
ThroughCorbeaunews Central African Republic
Bangui, Central African Republic, Wednesday, June 9, 2021 (Corbeaunews - Centrafrique). The Central African state and the Canadian mining company Axmin, headed by Chinese businesswoman Lucy Yan, have entered into discreet negotiations to end the dispute over the Ndassima gold mine and avoid costly proceedings. arbitration. A thorny issue behind which hovers the shadow of Moscow.
The Central African state will soon enter into discussions with the Canadian junior Axmin and its subsidiary in Bangui Aurafrique in the Ndassima case, in reference to the eponymous gold-rich zone in the center of the country. The deposit is one of the most important gold veins in the Central African Republic and the only one to enjoy known “industrial” potential. The Canadian junior protests against the cancellation, in July 2019, of its two exploration permits and its exploitation license for the gold of Passendro, Bambari I and Bambari II, in the area of Ndassima, acquired at the beginning of the years 2000. The Central African State emphasizes the absence of exploitation, when Axmin, for his part, invokes a “case of force majeure”, the territory being occupied by armed groups since 2012.
The two parties are currently finalizing the organization of a mediation with the International Arbitral Chamber of Paris (ICC), which should take place in the coming weeks. The aim is to avoid the arbitration stage, a long and costly process.
The mediation will be led by the lawyer and property manager Laï Kamara. Axmin, headed by Chinese businesswoman Lucy Yan, is defended by Crépin Mboli-Goumba, lawyer and unsuccessful 2020 presidential candidate (3.16% of the vote, AI of 05/18/20). On the Central African side, no less than three lawyers will assist the Minister of Mines Léopold Mboli Fatran and the Keeper of the Seals Flavien Mbata (or their possible representatives): the Bâtonnier Emile Bizon, Jean-Paul Veketo and Constant Gouyomgbia Kongba-Zeze. The installation of the mediation had been delayed, the last three having not been paid since the treatment of the case by the Central African State Council in April 2020. The high court declared itself incompetent to judge the folder,
“Abuse of power” and “amicable settlement”
The cancellation of the contract in July 2019 was managed directly by the cabinet of Minister Mboli Fatran, in close collaboration with the presidential palace. But it had aroused many disapproval at the top of the Central African administration, raising concerns about the consequences of legal proceedings.
Thus, a report written in 2020 by Rufin Benam Beltoungou, the natural resources advisor to President Faustin-Archange Touadéra, advised “to favor an amicable settlement” and even to “simply reverse this decision to withdraw”. Another report, this time from the High Authority for Good Governance dated April 24, 2020, concluded that there had been an “abuse of power by the Ministry of Mines”, a “misinterpretation” of the law and advocated a “settlement to the amicable ”of the dispute. It is therefore this last avenue which is favored today by the parties.
Laï Kamara decorated by Russia in 2013
The Central African state had issued a new call for tenders, won in February 2020 by Midas Resources, a Malagasy company represented by Final Leandric Rabenatoandro and regularly presented as close to Russian interests in the country. Since its arrival in 2018, the Russian paramilitary group Wagner, which has a strong presence in the Central African Republic, has taken a keen interest in the mining sector. Two Russian mining companies active in the country, Lobaye Invest and M-Finans, were sanctioned by the US Treasury in September 2020 for their links with Yevgeny Prigozhin, a Russian oligarch close to Vladimir Putin and Wagner.
The future mediator, Laï Kamara, for his part received in 2013 the Order of Friendship from the hands of Vladimir Kozhin, ex-KGB, close collaborator of Vladimir Poutine in the Kremlin and under sanctions of the American Treasury since 2014. The French lawyer had, in 2013, won a long legal battle for the benefit of the Russian state over the Orthodox Saint-Nicolas cathedral in Nice, which pitted it against a local association.
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