Miner seeks funding for $600 million claim

Pathfinder Minerals Plc (AIM:PFP), a London-based natural resources company,  is shopping for a litigation funder to support a claim against the Government of Mozambique over a disputed mining concession.

The Company has significantly advanced its preparation to refer the dispute to the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (“ICSID”) under the Mozambique – United Kingdom Bilateral Investment Treaty (2004) (the “Treaty”). This preparatory work includes the development of a detailed budget and timeline for claimant costs, the identification of the Company’s litigation team, and independent professional analysis of valuations for differing successful outcomes at an ICSID tribunal.

A briefing pack for funders has been developed by Travers Smith LLP, the Company’s solicitors and draws on detailed valuation mechanisms from Versant Partners LLC (“Versant”). Whilst the detail behind the valuation remains legally privileged, the Versant analysis assesses a range of successful scenarios with valuation ranges from a minimum of US$110m for an ex-ante damages award through to US$1,500m for an ex-post damages award. The Versant valuation supports the US$621.3m of estimated losses detailed in the company’s 12 April 2021 announcement.

Peter Taylor, Chief Executive Officer of Pathfinder, commented:

“A huge amount of work over recent months has gone into advancing our position with respect to a potential claim under the Treaty. With independent professional analysis supporting a range of high value award scenarios, and legal counsel attributing a favourable prospect of establishing liability on the part of the Government of Mozambique, a claim under the Treaty is now a very likely course of action. While this was never our preferred path, and we remain open to alternative solutions with the current Licence-holder, we believe we have strong prospects of recovering very significant monetary damages through this process.”

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