Stans Energy Chairman provides update on international arbitration case on Kyrgyzstan rare earth claim
April 9, 2014 — Rodney Irwin, Chairman and acting President of Stans Energy Corp. (‘Stans’, TSX-V: HRE | OTCQX: HREEF) speaks to Tracy Weslosky, Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of InvestorIntel about the complexities of Kyrgyzstan and how Stans has managed to deal with them and one of the most recent and flagrant examples has been the Inter-District Court of Bishkek ruling in favor of the Kyrgyz General Prosecutor’s Office (SPO) with respect to its claim regarding Stans’ Kutessay II Project. The decision, as it stands, would essentially imply the annulment of Stans’ whole license acquisition process.
Stans has regularly defended itself, producing all relevant documents filed since the outset of its venture. Rodney says that Stans “is waiting for a written decision from the Court [of Bishkek] and then we’ll take it for appeal to a higher court.” Nevertheless, Stans remains optimistic and maintains an active operations timeline “although the Kyrgyz Government is never above throwing you a curve; and one of the curves simply means that the government has fallen and that we’ll have a new one.” That always means that officials and ministers change and you have to go through a period to get them back working and signing documents. But, we feel that we’ve stayed on target with our principal issue, which is our international arbitration where we’re suing the government of Kyrgyzstan for effectively preventing us from working on developing our mine and we think that that the arbitration process is going to come to a conclusion fairly shortly.”
Rodney expects that Stans will be slowed down by a matter of months, if not weeks, and that in the grand scheme “it’s not all that serious” a delay. There may even be a benefit. Rodney says that the recent decision by the Court “supports our arbitration case, where we have said that effectively the government has prevented us from being able to develop our mining property. And this case, which the Government has brought against us and has won in the interim, until we go to appeal, presents us with more evidence that we can deliver to the arbitration court, not permitting us to develop my mining property is effectively an expropriation.”
On the technical side, aside from the emerging market risk, Stans offers a great advantage in that “we have taken over a project that historically operated in the good old days of the USSR. This was a rare earth mine that produced a lot of rare earths and when the USSR collapsed, this mine was effectively closed down.” Moreover, the mine has an associated processing plant, which Stans purchased and has been putting back together. This means that Stans has the right metallurgy to produce the oxides and metals. In the Soviet period, the Kashka Rare Earth Processing Plant (KRP), as it was known, was used to produce some 120 different metals, alloys, and oxides. The Kutessay-2 field during Soviet times delivered up to 80% of the USSR’s rare earth supply. Kutessay-2 contains up to 15 rare-earth elements, as well as lead, zinc, silver, bismuth, molybdenum, thorium, tin, and copper. In addition, it contains niobium, tantalum and hafnium.
The only obstacle standing between Stans moving to full operation is the Government’s obstruction, which will be dealt by the arbitration process.
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