Australian miner seeks GBP 806 mln in damages from Poland

Prairie Mining, an Australian company, has filed a damages claim against Poland seeking GBP 806 million in compensation for lost profits and damages related to the development of two mines that Poland blocked.

In April 2018, Prairie Mining launched legal action against Poland’s Ministry of Environment over the Jan Karski mine in the Lublin Coal Basin in eastern Poland after it was refused a mining permit. Prairie's concession at Debiensko mine in southern Poland was also blocked in 2018.

The current claim is within the ongoing arbitration proceedings.

"The Claim for compensation against Poland has been filed with the Tribunal in the BIT arbitration in the amount of GBP 806 million (AUD 1.5 billion/PLN 4.2 billion), which includes an assessment of the value of Prairie’s lost profits and damages related to both the JKM and Debiensko mines, and accrued interest related to any damages," the company said in a statement on Wednesday.

Prairie alleges Poland has breached its obligations under the Energy Charter Treaty and the Australia-Poland Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT).

"The Republic of Poland's actions have deprived Prairie of the entire value of its investments in Poland," Prairie said.

"The Prairie management team continues to work with legal counsel and a range of external experts in prosecuting the Claim," Prairie's CEO Ben Stoikovich was quoted as saying in the company's statement.

Prairie has also alleged the investment climate has deteriorated since the conservative United Right government took over power in 2015.

"Prairie’s investment dispute with the Republic of Poland is not unique, with international media widely reporting that the political environment and investment climate in Poland has deteriorated since the change in Government in 2015," the company said.