NewsControversy surrounding concession agreement: Tara Resources challenges Government's decision with fact-based arguments

Controversy surrounding concession agreement: Tara Resources challenges Government’s decision with fact-based arguments

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The arguments proposed by the working group for terminating the concession agreement that the state has with the company Brskovo Mine are factually inaccurate, do not correspond with the law, and are inconsistent with the Government’s policy over the past four years, stated Tara Resources.

The company stated that they were granted the concession rights in 2018 and have since invested significant funds to fulfill all their exploration obligations, which the Government confirmed were met in June 2019.

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“Since then, the company has been waiting for over four years for the Government to fulfill its obligations in the spatial planning process to issue urban-technical conditions, allowing the company to complete and submit the mining project and the environmental impact assessment study,” the statement said.

It is mentioned that the Government initiated the spatial planning process in 2021 and adopted the spatial plan draft in April of the previous year. However, the process stalled in July of the same year, without the company being at fault.

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“The Government has already twice extended the deadlines in the concession agreement due to delays in completing the spatial planning process, as the concession agreement includes a clause that takes into account administrative delays,” the statement emphasizes.

Tara Resources stated that the interdepartmental Government working group recommended to the Government to again extend the concession agreement in October of the previous year due to these delays, and to commence the collection of concession fees.

They mentioned that the Government requested a concession fee of 650 thousand EUR, which the company paid in January, but there was no extension of the deadline.

Tara Resources stated that the conclusions of the new working group, appointed by the Ministry of Energy and Mining, recommend the termination of the concession agreement, although nothing has changed since the last two extensions approved by the Government due to its own delays.

“The arguments used are factually inaccurate and contrary to the last two extensions approved by the government and the recommendations of the working group,” said Tara Resources.

As they stated, this exposes the Government to significant damages for violating the concession agreement, including damage within the bilateral investment treaty between Switzerland and Montenegro.

“Tara Resources has fulfilled all its obligations and demonstrated the potential for significant new development for Montenegro, with the possibility of employing 550 people from the northern part of Montenegro and bringing significant economic benefits to the region and the country, while respecting the best practices in environmental and health protection in the EU, successfully implemented in other zinc mines in Spain, Portugal, and Sweden,” said Tara Resources.

They emphasized that they are confident that what the working group suggested will prove to be factually illegal and incorrect, and that the Government will not adopt those conclusions.

Tara Resources stated that they remain open to constructive dialogue with institutions.

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