Nasdaq-listed Westwater Resources said on Thursday that it would seek international arbitration over what it alleged was the illegal taking of its Temrezli and Şefaalti uranium projects by the Turkish government in June this year.
Westwater has sought to open a dialogue with the government, but said that it had not had much success.
“The time for utilising the provisions of the US-Turkey bilateral investment treaty and to seek recovery of the company’s investment in the Temrezli and Şefaatli projects has come,” said Westwater president and CEO Christopher Jones.
Westwater subsidiary Adur Madencilik Limited Sirketi (Adur) has advanced the projects over the past 11 years to a point where Temrezli was considered the most advanced uranium project in Turkey, the company said in a media statement.
Should Temrezli be developed, it would generate revenue of $644-million over its life, netting the US firm a $267-million return on investment.
In June 2018, the Turkish government cancelled all of Adur's exploration and operating licences with retroactive effect, rendering Westwater's investment in Adur effectively worthless. The Turkish authorities, according to the company’s statement, assert that the licences were issued by mistake and that the Turkish government had a governmental monopoly over all uranium mining activities in Turkey.