Disclaimer For Investors
Important factors relating to forward-looking statements
The information presented or incorporated by reference in this Annual Information Form contains both historical information and “forward-looking statements” (within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act and Section 21E of the Exchange Act) or “forward-looking information” (within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities laws) (collectively referred to herein as “forward-looking statements”) that may state our intentions, hopes, beliefs, expectations or predictions for the future. Forward-looking statements are necessarily based upon a number of estimates and assumptions that, while considered reasonable by us at this time, are inherently subject to significant business, economic and competitive uncertainties and contingencies that may cause our actual financial results, performance or achievements to be materially different from those expressed or implied herein, many of which are outside our control. Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, as well as assumptions, including those set out herein, that may never materialize, prove incorrect or materialize other than as currently contemplated which could cause our results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. The words “believe,” “anticipate,” “expect,” “intend,” “estimate,” “plan,” “may,” “could” and other similar expressions that are predictions of or indicate future events and future trends, which do not relate to historical matters, identify forward-looking statements, although not all forward-looking statements contain these words. Any such forward-looking statements are not intended to provide any assurances as to future results.
Numerous factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements, including, without limitation:
- risks associated with the substantial concentration of our activities and assets in Venezuela which are and will continue to be subject to risks specific to Venezuela, including the effects of political, economic and social developments, social instability and unrest; international response to Venezuelan domestic and international policies; Sanctions by the U.S. or Canadian governments or other jurisdictions and potential invalidation, confiscation, expropriation or rescission of governmental orders, permits, agreements or property rights either by the existing or a future administration or power, de jure or de facto;
- risks associated with the Sanctions:
− Sanctions imposed by the U.S. government generally block all property of the government of Venezuela and prohibit the Company and its directors, management and employees (who are considered U.S. Persons as defined by U.S. Sanction statutes) from dealing with the Venezuelan government and/or state-owned/controlled entities, entering into certain transactions or dealing with SDNs and target corruption in, among other identified sectors, the gold sector of the Venezuelan economy,
− Sanctions imposed by the Canadian government include asset freezes and prohibitions on dealings, by Canadian entities and/or citizens as well as other individuals in Canada, with certain named Venezuelan officials under the Special Economic Measures (Venezuela) Regulations of the Special Economic Measures Act and the Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Regulations of the Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act (Sergei Magnitsky Law),
− Sanctions have adversely impacted our ability to collect the remaining funds owed by Venezuela and our ability to finance, develop and operate the Siembra Minera Project, which is expected to continue for an indeterminate period of time;
- risks that U.S. and Canadian government agencies that enforce Sanctions may not issue licenses that the Company may request in the future to engage in certain Venezuela-related transactions;
- risks associated with the continued failure by Venezuela to honor its remaining commitments under the Settlement Agreement. As of the date of this report, Venezuela still owes the Company an estimated $900 million (including interest of approximately $122 million) related to the original settlement obligation of approximately $1.032 billion, which was payable in a series of monthly payments ending on or before June 15, 2019;
- risks associated with our ability to resume our efforts to enforce and collect the Award” including the associated costs of enforcement and collection efforts and the timing and success of that effort, if Venezuela ultimately fails to honor its commitments pursuant to the Settlement Agreement, it is terminated and further efforts related to executing the Settlement Agreement are abandoned;
- risks associated with the announced phase out of the LIBOR in December 2021 and our ability, if and when it is possible to engage with the Venezuelan government, to either agree with Venezuela on a new interest benchmark or, alternatively, petition the court responsible for the enforcement of our Award judgement to rule on a new benchmark;
- risks associated with Venezuela’s failure to honor its remaining commitments associated with the formation and operation of Siembra Minera (a company formed to develop the Siembra Minera Project which is comprised of certain gold, copper, silver and other strategic mineral rights located in Bolivar State, Venezuela);
- risks associated with the ability of the Company and Venezuela to (i) successfully overcome legal or regulatory obstacles to operate Siembra Minera for the purpose of developing the Siembra Minera Project, (ii) complete any additional definitive documentation and finalize remaining governmental approvals and (iii) obtain financing to fund the capital costs of the Siembra Minera Project;
- risks associated with filing a claim, if warranted, for damages against Venezuela in the event they breach the terms of the underlying agreements governing the formation of Siembra Minera and the future development of the Siembra Minera Project. The cost of prosecuting such a claim over a number of years could be substantial, and there is no assurance that we would be successful in our claim or, if successful, could collect any compensation from the Venezuelan government. If we are unable to prevail, in the event we filed a claim against the Venezuelan government related to our stake in the Siembra Minera Project or were unable to collect compensation in respect of our claim, the Company would be adversely affected;
- risks associated with the existence of “dual” governments in Venezuela as a result of certain non-Venezuelan countries (including the United States and Canada) recognizing a presidency and government led by Juan Guaidó, instead of Nicolás Maduro, including associated challenges as to governing and decision-making authority related thereto, and the U.S. government’s previous indictment of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro and a number of key associates for human rights abuses and drug trafficking;
- risks that any future Venezuelan administration or power, de jure or de facto, will fail to respect the agreements entered into by Gold Reserve and Venezuela, including past or future actions of any branch of Government challenging the formation of Siembra Minera and Presidential Decree No. 2.248 creating the National Strategic Development Zone Mining Arc of the Orinoco;
- the risk that the conclusions of management and its qualified consultants contained in the Preliminary Economic Assessment of the Siembra Minera Project in accordance with NI 43-101 may not be realized in the future;
- risks associated with exploration, delineation of sufficient reserves, regulatory and permitting obstacles and other risks associated with the development of the Siembra Minera Project;
- risks associated with our ability to service outstanding obligations as they come due and access future additional funding, when required, for ongoing liquidity and capital resources, pending the receipt of payments under the Settlement Agreement or collection of the Award in the courts;
- risks associated with our prospects in general for the identification, exploration and development of mining projects and other risks normally incident to the exploration, development and operation of mining properties, including our ability to achieve revenue producing operations in the future;
- risks that estimates and/or assumptions required to be made by management in the course of preparing our financial statements are determined to be inaccurate, resulting in a negative impact on the reported amounts of assets and liabilities, disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the financial statements and the reported amounts of revenues and expenses during the reporting period;
- risks associated with shareholder dilution resulting from the future sale of additional equity, if required;
- risks associated with the value realized, if any, from the disposition of the assets related to our previous mining project in Venezuela known as the “Brisas Project”;
- risks associated with the abilities of and continued participation by certain employees;
- risks associated with the impact of current or future U.S., Canadian and/or other jurisdiction’s tax laws to which we are or may be subject; and
- risks associated with the impact of new diseases, epidemics and pandemics, including the effects and potential effects of the global coronavirus disease 2019 (“COVID-19”) pandemic.
This list is not exhaustive of the factors that may affect any of our forward-looking statements. See “Risk Factors” in Management’s Discussion and Analysis for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020 which has been filed on SEDAR and is available for review at www.sedar.com.
Investors are cautioned not to put undue reliance on forward-looking statements, and investors should not infer that there has been no change in our affairs since the date of this Annual Information Form that would warrant any modification of any forward-looking statement made in this document, other documents periodically filed with the Ontario Securities Commission, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) or other securities regulators or presented on the Company’s website. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date made. All subsequent written and oral forwardlooking statements attributable to us or persons acting on our behalf are expressly qualified in their entirety by this notice. We disclaim any intent or obligation to update publicly or otherwise revise any forward-looking statements or the foregoing list of assumptions or factors, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, subject to our disclosure obligations under applicable U.S. and Canadian securities regulations. Investors are urged to read the Company’s filings with Canadian and U.S. securities regulatory agencies, which can be viewed online at www.sedar.com and www.sec.gov, respectively. The forward-looking information contained herein is presented for the purpose of assisting investors in understanding the Company’s expected financial and operational performance and results as at and for the periods ended on the dates presented in the Company’s plans and objectives and may not be appropriate for other purposes.
The terms “mineral resource,” “measured mineral resource,” “indicated mineral resource” and “inferred mineral resource” are defined in and required to be disclosed by NI 43-101. However, these terms are not defined terms under SEC Industry Guide 7 and normally are not permitted to be used in reports and registration statements filed with the SEC. Investors are cautioned not to assume that any part or all of the mineral deposits in these categories will ever be converted into reserves. “Inferred mineral resources” have a great amount of uncertainty as to their existence, and great uncertainty as to their economic and legal feasibility. It cannot be assumed that all or any part of an inferred mineral resource will ever be upgraded to a higher category. Under Canadian rules, estimates of inferred mineral resources may not form the basis of feasibility or pre-feasibility studies, except in rare cases, and such estimates are not part of the SEC Industry Guide 7.