South American Silver Provides Update on Bolivian Investment Dispute
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Dec. 12, 2012) - South American Silver Corp. (TSX:SAC)(PINKSHEETS:SOHAF) is pleased to provide this update on some of the steps taken recently in the investment dispute between the Company's wholly-owned subsidiary South American Silver Limited and the Plurinational State of Bolivia. The dispute arose as a result of acts and omissions of the Government of Bolivia including the issuance of Supreme Decree No.1308 on August 1, 2012, revoking all of the mining concessions held by Compania Minera Malku Khota S.A. (CMMK). CMMK is a wholly owned subsidiary of South American Silver Limited, which is a protected investor under the Bilateral Investment Treaty between the United Kingdom and Bolivia (the "UK-Bolivia Treaty"). The acts and omissions of the Bolivian Government are in violation of the UK-Bolivia Treaty and of international law.
On July 16, 2012 the Company engaged the international law firm, King & Spalding LLP, to act as lead legal counsel in any international arbitration proceedings against Bolivia. King & Spalding is a leading law firm with extensive experience in investor-state arbitrations, particularly in South America.
On August 2, 2012, on the recommendation of King & Spalding, the Company engaged one of Bolivia's leading law firms to act as co-counsel to King & Spalding. The firm also has extensive experience in investor-state arbitration as well as special expertise in Bolivian and international law.
On September 13, 2012 the Company retained a leading global financial advisory firm to provide expert services to assess the damages suffered by the revocation of CMMK's mining concessions. The firm has vast experience as a damages expert in international arbitration and has special expertise in mining-related cases.
On October 23, 2012 South American Silver Limited delivered a formal letter to the Bolivian Government notifying it of the investment dispute under the UK-Bolivia Treaty. Notification of the investment dispute triggered a six-month cooling-off period during which the disputing parties may negotiate a settlement. The cooling-off period expires on April 23, 2013.
On December 12, 2012, South American Silver Limited delivered a formal letter to the Bolivian Government reiterating its willingness to meet with Bolivian Government representatives in order to settle the dispute.
Phillip Brodie-Hall, President and CEO of South American Silver said, "We are hopeful that the Government of Bolivia will agree to meet in order to negotiate an early settlement to the dispute. However, if a settlement cannot be reached by April 23, 2013, we will be filing a Notice of Arbitration under the Arbitration Rules of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) claiming full compensation based on fair market value of the Malku Khota project. Given the size of the project, the claim will be substantial. Indeed, as recently as December 11, 2012, Edgar Alan Pinto, the President of the Bolivian state-owned mining corporation (COMIBOL), was quoted in the Bolivian Press describing the project as one of the most attractive on the South American continent because of its high concentration of silver, indium, gallium and gold."
This News Release and other information related to the investment dispute can be found on the Company's website www.soamsilver.com. The website will be updated to keep investors informed of progress and developments in the dispute.
About South American Silver Corp.
South American Silver Corp. is a growth focused mineral exploration company creating value through the exploration and development of the large scale Escalones copper-gold project in Chile, the pursuit of new projects, and the realization of value from the Malku Khota project in Bolivia. South American Silver Limited is a company incorporated in the Bermuda Islands, an overseas territory of the United Kingdom, which through its wholly owned Bahaman subsidiaries: Malku Khota Ltd, G.M. Campana Ltd. and Productora Ltd., owns one hundred per cent of the outstanding shares of Compania Minera Malku Khota S.A., a Bolivian company, holder of the Malku-Khota mining concessions until their nationalization by the Bolivian Government. The Company's approach to business combines the team's track record of discovery and advancement of large projects, key operational and process expertise, and a focus on community relations and sustainable development. Management has extensive experience in the global exploration and mining industry. The Company's shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol "SAC" and on the US OTC market as "SOHAF". Additional information related to South American Silver Corp. is available at www.soamsilver.com and on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.
Forward-looking statements look into the future and provide an opinion as to the effect of certain events and trends on the business. Forward-looking statements may include words such as "will", "pursuit", "creating", "realization" and similar expressions. This release contains forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based on current expectations and various estimates, factors and assumptions and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors.
Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these statements as the Company's actual results, performance or achievements may differ materially from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements if known or unknown risks, uncertainties or other factors affect the Company's business, or if the Company's estimates or assumptions prove inaccurate. Therefore, the Company cannot provide any assurance that forward-looking statements will materialize. Factors that could cause results or events to differ materially from current expectations expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements, include, but are not limited to, risks of the mineral exploration industry which may affect the advancement of the Escalones project, including possible variations in mineral resources or grade, metal prices, availability of equipment and qualified personnel, failure of equipment or processes to operate as anticipated and changes in project parameters as plans continue to be refined; the political and economic climate in Bolivia including the attitudes and actions of the Bolivian government related to foreign investment in Bolivia; the pursuit by the Bolivian government of stated courses of action; the international arbitration process; and other risks more fully described in the Company's Annual Information Form filed and publicly available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. The assumptions made in developing the forward-looking statements include: the accuracy of current inferred resources and the interpretation of drill and other exploration results for Escalones, and the availability of equipment and qualified personnel to advance the Escalones project and execution of the Company's existing plans and further exploration and development programs for Escalones, which may change due to changes in the views of the Company or if new information arises which makes it prudent to change such plans or programs; the ability of the Company to realize value from its investments in Bolivia and that statements made by Bolivian government officials reflect the government's intentions. Subject to applicable laws, the Company assumes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or any other reason. Unless otherwise indicated, forward-looking statements in this release describe the Company's expectations as of December 12, 2012.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:
South American Silver Corp.
604-681-6926 or 1-855-681-6926 Toll Free