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UPDATE 2-Alamos Gold's units to file $1 bln investment treaty claim against Turkey

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·2 min read
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(Adds company denial of claims on environmental impact, no comment from Turkey)

April 20 (Reuters) - Miner Alamos Gold said on Tuesday its Netherlands units will file an investment treaty claim exceeding $1 billion against Turkey for "unfair and inequitable treatment" with its gold mining project.

Alamos, which has had an active presence in Turkey since 2010, said the claim that will be filed under the Netherlands-Turkey Bilateral Investment Treaty represents the value of its Turkish assets.

The Canadian miner had halted construction work at its Kirazli project in western Turkey in October 2019 after the mining concessions expired and amid protests against the project.

Thousands of Turks, including opposition lawmakers, had protested against Alamos' mine, accusing the company of using cyanide to extract gold and contaminating the soil and water of a nearby dam. (https://reut.rs/2P3FEtg)

In an interview with Reuters at the time, Alamos CEO John McCluskey said measures had been taken to ensure that cyanide did not leak into the environment and the protests were based on politically motivated misinformation. He said the company had paid for reforestation of the area.

Alamos said on Tuesday that the government had failed to grant a routine renewal of its mining licenses in the 18 months since expiry, despite the company having met all legal and regulatory requirements for the renewal.

"The failure to renew the company's mining licenses will result in the loss of over a half a billion dollars in future economic benefits to the Republic of Turkey, including tax and other revenues, and thousands of jobs within Turkey," Alamos said.

Turkey's Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Alamos said that along with the subsidiaries, it invested more than $250 million in Turkey, unlocked over a billion dollars worth of project value, and contributed over $20 million in royalties, taxes and forestry fees to the Turkish government.

(Reporting by Arundhati Sarkar in Bengaluru and Ali Kucukgocmen in Ankara, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Bernadette Baum)