Tobie Mining demands compensation from Colombian state
Tobie Mining Inc. demands either 16.5 billion from the Colombian state or a permission to exploit gold in the National Park Yaigojé-Apaporis, between the departments of Vaupés and Amazonas.
On February 19 the Colombian government was notified of a lawsuit issued by transnational Tobie Mining Inc. for 16.5 billion, representing 11.8% of the national budget for 2016.
Natural Yaigojé-Apaporis National Park was created, between the departments of Vaupés and Amazonas in October 2009. Two days later, Tobie Ingeominas Mining received mining rights to extract gold in that area for 29 years.
The Constitution prohibits the granting of mining rights within protected areas. Therefore, in 2011 the Office requested the withdrawal of any mining activities in the area. And in 2013 the National Mining Agency declared the expiration of the mining title and complete withdrawal of the concession contract.
Representatives of the company encouraged the creation of a dissident group in the indigenous community: the Acitava association, which issued a complaint against the creation of the park.
In September 2015 the Constitutional Court dismissed the complaint and confirmed the existence of the park and the immediate suspension of the activities of exploration and mining by Tobie Mining and ordered the non-issuance of mining titles in the future.
Faced with defeat in Colombian courts, Tobie Mining Inc., protected by the free trade agreement between the US and Colombia, brought the case to an arbitration investment tribunal asking for Colombia to reverse the decision or pay out compensation. The company says that the alleged expropriation which has been submitted is the result of fraudulent maneuvers.
Translated by FARC-EP International