Brilliant Resources Inc. Requests Arbitration against the Republic of Equatorial Guinea
Brilliant Resources, Inc. has officially submitted a request for arbitration proceedings against the Republic of Equatorial Guinea with the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). The dispute concerns the exploration services agreement between Brilliant’s subsidiary company and the government.
Brilliant charges that the government failed to comply with the agreement, despite the fact that the government acknowledged that Brilliant’s subsidiary met its obligations under the terms of the agreement, which was specifically to perform an aerial survey of the Rio Muni area of Equatorial Guinea, interpret the results, and perform any other necessary technical work to validate the results of the survey.
Per the agreement, Brilliant’s subsidiary is therefore entitled to mining concessions of its choosing totaling 15% of the Rio Muni region. Despite lengthy attempts to secure these mining contracts, the government has so far failed to award any mining concessions to the subsidiary, or to offer any substitute compensation. As a result, Brilliant is asking for $80 million in damages. The government of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea has, according to Brilliant, failed to respond in any meaningful way at all, leaving the company no choice but to seek relief from the international community and the ICC.
The dispute between Brilliant and the Republic of Equatorial Guinea is the latest in a string of similar disputes between corporations and governments over service agreements involving promised concessions for natural resource exploitation. For most of these disputes, international arbitration is the only viable alternative.