SPOKANE, WASHINGTON -- Gold Reserve Inc. (TSX.V: GRZ) (OTCQX: GDRZF) has announced that it has received the fifth scheduled payment from Venezuela in their $1 billion expropriation settlement.
"The Company is also pleased to announce that it has received the October payment of US$29.5 million pursuant to the Settlement Agreement," Gold Reserve said this morning.
Gold Reserve has now received $158 million on the settlement for $1.037 billion.
Under the terms of the Settlement Agreement, Venezuela agreed to pay Gold Reserve a total of approximately US $1,037 million, comprised of approximately US $797 million to satisfy the arbitral ICSID Award granted in favor of the Company and US $240 million for the Company’s technical mining data related to the Brisas property.
Gold Reserve is scheduled to receive 20 monthly payments of US $29.5 million and three monthly payments of US $40.8 million on or before the 10 of each month, totalling approximately US $712 million. The final payment of US $285 million is scheduled to be paid on or before June 10, 2019. In addition, Venezuela placed Venezuelan financial instruments with a face value of US $350 million in trust as collateral for the future payments.
Gold Reserve will refrain from enforcing the Award as long as Venezuela is current in its obligations to the Company. In addition, Venezuela has agreed to permanently withdraw all legal proceedings seeking annulment.
Gold Reserve also provided an update on activities in Venezuela with respect to the Siembra Minera gold/copper/silver project (owned 45% by the Company and 55% by the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela).
"Siembra Minera and its technical consultants are currently working to complete a Preliminary Economic Assessment (“PEA”) in accordance with National Instrument 43-101, which is expected to be finalized in early November. This study will include an up to date resource estimate, a mine plan including gold, copper and silver production, estimated capital and operating costs, and overall project schedule."
"The 43-101 report will detail the large 140,000 tonnes per day Siembra Minera project and will now also include the smaller fast track 15,000 tonnes per day saprolite project. The saprolite project tailings dam site selection and preliminary design work are complete with preliminary engineering of the saprolite plant nearing completion."
Siembra Minera has also been working with its environmental consultants on the International Environmental and Social Impact Statement which will be prepared in accordance with the World Bank’s Equator Principles. Proposals are currently being evaluated for a drilling program expected to commence in early in 2018 that will support the overall project development activities, water management wells, and test areas where additional resource potential is evident. Siembra Minera has also now established local management offices in Caracas and Puerto Ordaz.
As part of the development process, the Company also reports that the Siembra Minera project has received two important permits to advance the mining projects.
Recently, the Ministerio del Poder Popular para Ecosocialismo y Aguas (“MINEA” - Ministry of the Environment) issued the Permit to Occupy. This permit allows Siembra Minera to proceed to file its request for the Permit to Affect, which, when issued, will allow early works construction activities.
To support the early works, the Bolivar State Mining Authority, Instituto Autónomo Minas Bolívar (“IAMIB”) has approved the issuance of a non-metallic mineral concession for the development of an aggregate quarry for the project. This permit will allow the mining of aggregate needed for roads, airstrip, initial rock base for the construction of the tailing dam and the production of concrete for overall construction of the projects.
Doug Belanger, President, stated, “The progress on the project continues and the prompt receipt of the first permits is a big step forward in the development of the project in a timely fashion.”
Gold Reserve held its annual shareholder meeting on August 29, 2017. The Company reported second quarter 2017 after-tax profit of US$56.3 million (US$0.55 per share) versus a US$4.6 million loss (US$0.06 per share) for the first six months of 2016. Revenues were US$99.0 million versus no revenues in the same period of 2016.
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