Friday, March 4, 2016

Mining company wants Ottawa to halt Mongolia aid over dispute

Canadian uranium company Khan Resources Inc wants Ottawa to suspend aid to Mongolia if it fails to reach a settlement with the Asian country for cancelling Khan's mining license, its chief executive said on Thursday.

An international tribunal ordered Mongolia last year to pay about $100 million to Khan as compensation for having canceled in 2009 its license to mine the Dornod uranium project, which was in development.

Khan maintains that Mongolia planned to grant the rights to Russia's ARMZ, but stopped when its move drew attention.

The money has not been repaid.

"Mongolia ... is not complying," said Grant Edey, Khan's chief executive. "You have to step up and treat them as a bad actor."

Edey said he has not yet met with elected officials in the Canadian government, which was elected in October, to request that it stop aid to Mongolia. Annual Canadian aid to Mongolia is at least C$4 million, Edey said.

Edey plans to meet with a Mongolian delegation scheduled to attend next week's Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) mining convention in Toronto.

Khan and Mongolian officials last met in January to discuss a settlement, with limited progress, Edey said.

"We would like to settle. They say they would like to settle, but they've given more indication of delay than anything else," he said.

A spokesperson for Canada's Global Affairs department could not be reached after business hours. The Mongolian Embassy to Canada said ambassador Radnaabazar Altangerel was not available.

Mongolia is trying to annul the arbitration award in a French court. Khan has filed for court certification of its award in the United States, which may allow it to seize Mongolian commercial assets there. (Reporting by Rod Nickel; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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