On February 4, 2020, Westwater Resources, Inc. ("Westwater") announced that it has submitted a Claimant's Memorial (the "Memorial") in its arbitration proceeding against the Republic of Turkey ("Turkey"). The Memorial relates to Westwater's request for arbitration submitted to the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes ("ICSID") in December 2018 as a result of Turkey's unlawful actions against Westwater's investments at the Temrezli and Sefaatli uranium projects owned by Westwater's Turkish subsidiary Adur Madencilik Limited Sirketi.
The Memorial sets forth the basis for Westwater's claims under the treaty between the United States and Turkey concerning the reciprocal encouragement and protection of investments and international law generally, as well as the basis for the jurisdiction of the tribunal constituted on May 1, 2019 following ICSID's registration of Westwater's request for arbitration. The Memorial also establishes the reparations owed by Turkey for breach of its international obligations towards Westwater, consisting of no less than $36.5 million, plus costs and post-award interest, as compensation for Westwater's resulting loss of its investment. Accompanying the Memorial is an expert report regarding the reparations owed to Westwater.
In determining the amount of Westwater's loss, the expert report considered (i) the projected future cash flows from the expropriated projects, discounted to present value by a risk-adjusted discount rate, (ii) valuations from transactions for similar projects, and (iii) in the case of the Sefaatli project, the amounts invested in the project.
Turkey may respond to Westwater's Memorial on or before March 9, 2020 with a request for bifurcation, or proceed with filing a Counter-Memorial on or before June 15, 2020. Schedules for additional filings are dependent upon the approach taken by Turkey and the decision of the ICSID tribunal on any request for bifurcation. For example, if bifurcation is requested and denied, a hearing on the merits will be scheduled for September 2021. Alternatively, if bifurcation is not requested, a hearing on the merits will be scheduled for May 2021. Finally, if bifurcation is requested and granted, a hearing on jurisdiction only will be scheduled for March 2021.