Odyssey Marine Exploration’s First Memorial in NAFTA Case Published
Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc., a deep-ocean exploration pioneer engaged in the discovery, development and extraction of deep-ocean minerals, has been notified that the First Memorial filed by Odyssey in September 2020 in its pending North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) case against Mexico has now been published by the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) and is available on its website at icsidfiles.worldbank.org/icsid/ICSIDBLOBS/OnlineAwards/C8573/DS15772_En.pdf. The Memorial is also available on Odyssey’s website at www.odysseymarine.com/nafta.
The $2.3 billion claim against Mexico under NAFTA relates to the unlawful denial of the environmental permit for subsidiary Exploraciones Oceanicas’ (ExO’s) offshore phosphate project. The First Memorial filing is supported by documentary evidence and 20 expert reports and witness statements. In summary, this evidence includes:
- MERITS: Testimony from independent environmental experts that the environmental impact of ExO’s phosphate project is minimal and readily mitigated by measures proposed by ExO. Witnesses with first-hand knowledge also testified that the denial of environmental approval by Mexico’s prior administration was politically motivated and not justified on environmental grounds. Evidence was also submitted demonstrating that Mexico granted environmental permits to similar dredging projects in areas that are considered more environmentally sensitive than ExO’s project location.
- RESOURCE: An independent certified marine geologist testified as to the size and character of the resource which underpins the value of the claim, commercial viability and strategic importance of the mineral concession.
- OPERATIONAL VIABILITY: Engineering experts testified that the project uses established dredging technology that is commonly used in Mexico and around the world.
- VALUE: A Phosphate market analyst testified that the project’s projected CAPEX and OPEX would make the project one of the lowest cost phosphate rock resources in the world, and damages experts testified the project would be commercially viable and profitable.
“Before investing in Odyssey’s registered direct offering last year, we conducted significant due diligence on the company and carefully reviewed this NAFTA claim,” explained John Addis, Founder and CIO of FourWorld Capital Management. “This First Memorial amplifies our strong belief in the merits and evidence presented in the case, and we are looking forward to a very positive outcome.” FourWorld Capital Management, LLC is an SEC registered, litigation focused hedge fund based in New York. Since its launch in 2015, FourWorld has deployed over $1 billion globally in investments where litigation was the primary driver of value. FourWorld currently owns over 1.2 million shares (9.4%) of Odyssey common stock.