Australian mining company threatens ISDS case against Tanzania

January 22, 2019: Australian mining company Indiana Resources is one of three mining companies that have served the Tanzanian government with a notice of intent to bring an ISDS case after it revoked the companies’ retention licences.

The cases come after the Tanzanian government made amendments to the county’s Mining Act in 2018, which aimed to increase opportunities for the government and local companies to benefit from mining projects. The amended legislation requires a minimum of 16 percent government ownership of mining projects and 5 percent equity participation for local Tanzanian companies.

The dispute between the three companies and the Tanzanian government relates to the decision to revoke the companies’ retention licences and make a public call for tenders for the joint development of the areas that were previously covered by the licences.

Australia does not have a bilateral investment treaty with Tanzania. Indiana Resources is bringing the case through its UK-based parent company Ntaka Nickel Holdings, under the UK-Tanzania bilateral investment treaty.

This is yet another example of ISDS being used by global corporations to sue governments over laws designed to encourage local development.