According to Berkeley Minery, the Ministry of Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge (MITECO in Spanish) has once again denied permission to build a uranium plant in Salamanca.
– Translation provided by JIGGSLAW®.
The company reiterates its belief that swift negotiations will lead to the settlement of the dispute. Berkeley sent an investment arbitration request in November 2022 but has yet to receive a response from the Spanish government.
According to inside information provided to the Spanish Financial Conduct Authority (CNMV in Spanish) by the Australian Minery, Berkeley Energy Ltd., the company has informed that it has received a formal notification from MITECO dismissing its administrative appeal against the refusal to grant permission for the construction of a concentrated uranium plant as a radioactive plant at the location of Retortillo in Salamanca.
Following the unfavourable report on its concession by the Board of the Nuclear Security Council, the Minister denied the authorisation on November 2021.
According to Berkeley, the rejection of the request did not follow the legally established procedure, and as a result, an administrative appeal against this decision was served on December 2021 in accordance with Spanish regulations, which was not upheld.
The company considers that the ministry has breached not only Spanish administrative procedure regulations but also Bekerley’s protection rights under the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT), implying that the decision to deny the company’s NSC II request is unlawful.
Notice of investment arbitration under the ECT
In November 2022, the company sent a written notice of an investment dispute to the President of the Spanish Government and the Minister of Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge, outlining the nature of the dispute, the breaches of the Energy Charter Treaty, and proposing swift negotiations to find an amicable solution in accordance with the International Treaty.
This is a preliminary step for Berkeley to initiate international arbitration proceedings if the dispute is not satisfactorily resolved. In a press release, the Australian company states that it remains confident in the amicable resolution of the dispute through swift negotiations but adds that it has not received a response to the investment dispute from the Kingdom of Spain or the ministry.