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Silver Wheaton Corp. Message Board

  • mardermj mardermj Dec 25, 2010 7:56 AM Flag

    Barrick Ownership of Pascua Lama Dispute

    As you may be aware, there's been a ten year David vrs Goliath dispute, Barrick has LOST with the former owner of Pascua Loma, at two levels of S. American courts, now winding its way to the Chilean Supreme Ct for review. That's right, LOST. There's been some twists, in that the original verdict lower court was not "delivered" to ABX, and the higher court ordered both the reinstatement of the delivery, and reinstatement of the ruling AGAINST ABX.

    So where does SLW land? With some headline risk. Why?If it comes to pass, Barrack does not own the mine, according to the Supreme Court in Chile, the rights they proffered to SLW are buffered by contract agreement by production from three other back up mines, equal to the 9M per annum promised in the agreement between SLW and ABX, or, at SLW discretion, SLW can get its 650M investment returned. In the first case, the issue become "so what?" except the promise of what looks like future production increases goes away. In the second case, SLW gets to work new acquisitions, which it is doing anyway.

    There's been some hemming and hawing about glacial impact and cheap labor being exploited in the Chile Argentina areas, those ecological and social issues are all ABX's problem and sidebar to the basic issue--who owns Pacua Lama?

    There's a couple of twists that are legitimate the who owns dilemma. One, the clerk who was supposed to deliver the lower court verdict against ABX failed to do so, that's a big deal in Napoleonic Law. So a cause of action at Supreme Court level might be, did the second court err in reinstating the verdict and forcing the delivery of the lower court. The other is the investigation why wasn't the verdict of the first court delivered? Was the clerk bribed not to? In that case, the Supreme Court can uphold the lower court verdict and Appellate Court decision to redeliver the "new" verdict based on duress or intimidation or fraud at the lower court level.

    One thing is certain for SLW longs--this issue will come to a head in the first quarter this year.

    Second, this is a Napoleonic Code Court, meaning they don't have to look at precedent to make a decision, which augers for a reexamination of facts. The last is, the David and Goliath aspect of the little guy who surrendered his rights for pennies, and was "taken" in an unfair or unconscionable contract to proffer the acreage. That's why the lower court said, the contract to convery Pascua Lama to ABX was null and void.

    This is going to get hairy very quickly, even though SLW is buffered by those other three mines output ABX is bound to supply.

    Stay tuned.

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    • Thanks for posting this.

      It’s been rumoured that the last 3 Barrick senior executives (Garver, Borg and Blasutti) had to leave because they testified in Chile. I've been trying to find info on this rumour but can't yet. However Its weird 3 top executives leave all in a matter of the past 6 months. Anybody through their own DD find a connection with the Pascua lawsuit and the executives leaving?

      Any info on the Pascua lawsuit overall would be helpful as it’s hard to come by. What’s with the talk about the Supreme Court ruling in no more than 90 days? Did Barrick lose the recent Appeal (as of sometime Nov/Dec) and now its going to the Supreme Court?

    • Well, since you haven't answered my claims, I'll help you. The Court case is now moving to a final conclusion at the Supreme Court level in Santiago's 14th District Court.

      Action No. C-1912-2001) can be found at

    • Well, how can one argue against "you're not just saying".

    • Jorge sold the rights to Barrick in 1996. He was an ignorant illiterate. By 2001 it was obvious the acreage was filled with gold, silver and minerals worth billions.

      He sued.

      He WON. TWICE. Lower court and appellate court held for the original owner and the contract NULL and VOID.

      Now read the right up starting at the beginning of this post, and go to Wikipedia for other sources.

      I'm not "just sayin". Do some DD.

      I did mine.

    • Okay, he "claims" to be the title holder to something.

      Is there any evidence that he *is* a title holder to anything of consequence. I don't see anything to that effect. I really can't address what someone claims without any evidence to back up those claims.

      I'm not a faith-based type of person. I require evidence. Nor do I believe in boogy-men, although I do believe that people can get very worked up over them. In fact, I have dubbed this the "booga booga effect" where people get very excited about things that have no basis in reality.

    • If the protagonist had rights just accorded to the road and accessways, the country's in question could grant eminent domain, since to deny access is to be in direct interference with trade, which has national significance. But the court would enforce fair payment of the use of the road.

      If this were the US.

      This is a Napoleanic Code based jurisprudence. In English, we've no idea what they'll do.

      And I will admit, that even with financial backing outside of his own resources from MWR, it's an uphill climb, and these are NOT US courts with the same focus.

      We'll know in no more than ninety days.

    • Call Randy Smallwood, he's a nice guy. He will answer your questions.

    • The, let's begin with the following boogyman under the bed and see what comes up in reality:

      As per Mountain-West Resources news release dated Oct 21 2010, Mina Pascua represents approximately 85 percent or more of the Pascua Lama ore body.

      Check out MWR on the Venture Exchange right now.

      This is a clip from the MWR news release:


      On or about February of 2010, the Company advanced funds to Jorge Lopehandia for several purposes. The main purpose was to explore the possibility of recovering part or all of the Pascua Lama gold Project currently held by Barrick Gold Corporation (see ). Mr. Lopehandia is involved in legal proceedings in Santiago, Chile and claims to be the holder of the beneficial title to Mina Pascua. Mina Pascua represents approximately 85 percent or more of the Pascua Lama ore body.

      Please note that there is no guarantee that Mr. Lopehandia will be successful in his litigation and, accordingly, there is no guarantee that the Company will be able to acquire any interest in the Pascua Lama Project.

      The secondary objective of the advances to Mr. Lopehandia has been to acquire information on properties of merit in Chile. The Company will make an announcement if or when it enters into any agreement.

      (YDM: The latter of which is the road.)

    • Paragraph 6,1st sentence: "auger" should be "augur". Hmmm....someone else here consistently makes the same mistake. I wonder.......

      • 2 Replies to jdnpmn
      • Certainly appears meaty to me. I'm sorry I can't pay attention to your inplication, I am doing an experiment with fungus, and I have to replace the agar agar. Or is it auger auger?

        It definately isn't augur augur. But it should be.
        Of course it is me. But, I use the alias when I don't want any prejudices about me plus or minus in the answers.

        It fails terribly, but I have to try. Many writers do the same, I make no excuse.

        Also, I use the name of my dead Vietnam buddy mjm rather exclusively to my most serious stuff, since, his memory is worth only my best efforts.

      • If I were a betting woman, and I am, I'd double down on your supposition.

    • Villar is not the "former owner" of PL. He owned the mineral rights to an area abutting PL. There is no dispute over who owns the mine. Barrick does. Villar's claim doesn't touch the areas of mineralization that Barrick will be mining. Villar's dispute is that the lone road to the mine goes through the claim that he supposedly sold to Barrick. He simply wants money from Barrick for the use of the road to PL. The only question is the amount of money to which he is entitled if any, not that he owns the mine or that he can do anything to stop the project.

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