Gold Reserve Inc. (TSX VENTURE:GRZ) (NYSE-Amex:GRZ) (the “Company”) announces that the oral hearings held at the World Bank in Washington, D.C., and presided over by a three-member tribunal in the arbitration conducted under the auspices of the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes concluded, as scheduled, on February 17, 2012.
The hearings focused on the evidentiary record in the case and counsel for both the Company and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela addressed the issues of jurisdiction, liability and damages. The oral hearings presented an opportunity for the arbitral tribunal to hear testimony from fact witnesses and expert witnesses, as well as to address questions to the parties.
Gold Reserve claims damages arising from violations of three provisions of the Canada-Venezuela bilateral investment treaty resulting in the effective expropriation of Gold Reserve’s sizable investments in the world-class Brisas gold/copper project and the promising Choco 5 property.
Gold Reserve seeks compensation corresponding to the restitution, or fair market value, of the rights to develop the Brisas Project and Choco 5, as of the date of the Tribunal’s decision. Gold Reserve has presented evidence that the fair market value of those rights as last updated in its Reply dated July 29, 2011, is approximately $2.1 billion. The Tribunal will assess the evidence presented on this and other matters in making its final decision.Doug Belanger, President, stated, “The oral hearings were the culmination of an extensive undertaking by the Company’s counsel, technical, legal and financial experts, as well as its employees, to present Gold Reserve’s case to the Tribunal. Upon review of the entire record of evidence, it is clear that Gold Reserve’s claims are well supported.” The Tribunal granted both parties the opportunity to submit a post-hearing brief, to be filed simultaneously, in order to comment in conclusion on the full evidentiary record, as is typically permitted in such arbitrations. Those briefs are due to be filed by March 16, 2012. The Tribunal may issue its decision thereafter. It is typical for tribunals in this type of arbitration to require six to eighteen months (the historical average is approximately 1.2 years) to finalize and issue its decision.