Gold Reserve Inc. (“Gold Reserve” or the “Company”) is engaged in the business of acquiring, exploring and developing mining projects. The Company is an exploration stage company incorporated in 1998 under the laws of the Yukon Territory, Canada and continued to Alberta, Canada in September 2014. The Company is the successor issuer to Gold Reserve Corporation which was incorporated in 1956. In 1992, the Company acquired and began developing what is now known as the Brisas gold and copper project, located in the historic Km 88 mining district of the State of Bolivar in southeastern Venezuela (the “Brisas Project”).
The Brisas deposit is estimated to be one of the largest undeveloped gold/copper deposits in the world. From 1992 to 2009, the Company invested close to US $300 million in acquisition, land exploration, development, equipment, and engineering costs, developing the Brisas Project into what management believes is a world class mining project.
As a result of the Company’s years of substantive effort and compliance with Venezuelan mining laws and regulations and numerous interim approvals by various government ministries, the Venezuelan Ministry of Environment (“MinAmb”) in March 2007 issued the Authorization for the Affectation of Natural Resources for the Construction of Infrastructure and Services Phase of the Brisas Project (the “Authorization to Affect”).
In April 2008, after enjoying years of support from the relevant Venezuelan authorities in developing its mining properties, investing hundreds of millions of dollars for exploration and development, and successfully developing the Brisas Project to the point of construction, in accord with all applicable laws, regulations, licenses and permits, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela arbitrarily revoked the Authorization to Affect, eliminating the Company’s ability to exploit the Brisas Project.
As a result of this and other acts by or on behalf of Venezuela, on October 21, 2009 the Company filed a Request for Arbitration under the Additional Facility Rules of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (“ICSID”) of the World Bank, in Washington D.C., against the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela seeking compensation for the losses caused to the Company by what the Company believes are Venezuela’s violations of the Agreement between the Government of Canada and the Government of the Republic of Venezuela for the Promotion and Protection of Investments (“Canada-Venezuela Treaty”) in regard to the Company and its investments in Venezuela.
On September 22, 2014, the ICSID Tribunal unanimously awarded to the Company an Arbitral Award (the “Award”) totaling (i) $713 million in damages, plus (ii) pre-award interest from April 2008 through the date of the Award based on the U.S. Government Treasury Bill Rate, compounded annually totaling, as of the date of the Award, approximately $22.3 million and (iii) $5 million for legal costs and expenses, for a total, as of September 22, 2014, of $740.3 million. The Award (less legal costs and expenses) accrues post-award interest at a rate of LIBOR plus 2%, compounded annually (approximately $58,000 per day) for a total estimated Award as of the date of this report of $760 million. An ICSID Additional Facility Award is enforceable globally in jurisdictions that allow for the recognition and enforcement of commercial arbitral awards.
On August 8, 2016, we announced the execution of the Settlement Agreement with Venezuela pursuant to which Venezuela would pay us the Arbitral Award, which amounts to approximately $769.7 million, including accrued interest to February 24, 2016 (the date we entered into a memorandum of understanding with Venezuela with respect to the Settlement Agreement). The amount would be paid in two installments: (i) $600.0 million on or before October 31, 2016, and (ii) approximately $169.7 million on or before December 31, 2016. Venezuela agreed to use the proceeds from any financing it closes after the execution of this agreement to pay us the amounts owed under this agreement in preference to any other creditor. Pursuant to the Settlement Agreement, Venezuela would also purchase the Mining Data for $240.0 million in four quarterly installments of $50.0 million beginning October 31, 2016, with a fifth and final installment of $40.0 million due on or before October 31, 2017. After the final installment payment with respect to the Mining Data, the Mining Data would be transferred to the Venezuelan National Mining Database. In addition, the parties have agreed to form a Mixed Company to develop the Brisas-Cristinas Project. The Mixed Company would be beneficially owned 55% by Venezuela and 45% by a wholly-owned subsidiary of Gold Reserve.
On November 4, 2016, we announced the execution of an amendment to the settlement agreement (the “Settlement Agreement”) previously entered into with the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela (“Venezuela”) whereby the parties agreed to a revised payment schedule under which Venezuela will make a first payment of US$300,000,000 on or before November 30, 2016, a second payment of US$469,681,823 on or before January 3, 2017, a third payment of US$50,000,000 on or before January 31, 2017, a fourth payment of US$100,000,000 on or before February 28, 2017 and a final payment of $90,000,000 on or before June 30, 2017. In addition, we have together with Venezuela taken steps to establish the mixed (joint venture) company Empresa Mixta Ecosocialista Siembra Minera, S.A. that will develop the Brisas-Cristinas gold copper project in Southeastern Venezuela (see International Arbitration Page).
The Company maintains its executive/administrative office at 926 West Sprague Ave., Suite 200, Spokane, Washington 99201 USA, and is listed on the Toronto Venture Exchange (symbol: GRZ.V) and the OTCQB Markets Exchange (symbol: GDRZF). The Company employs 8 people in the United States.
(1) The terms Gold Reserve and Company are used interchangeably and include, where appropriate, relevant subsidiaries.