Geschickt von EuroGas, gerade mit Blick auf die amerikanische
Tochter Tombstone, die letzte Meldung sowie die Chronologie auch in
Englisch zu bringen:
24h before expiration of the ultimatum Slovakia is willing to enter
Chronology of the deceptive business practices surrounding the
Gemerská Poloma talc mine
The almost ten-year-old dispute concerning the illegal de facto
expropriation of EuroGas by the Slovak Republic appears to be
entering a decisive phase. Shortly before the expiry of an
ultimatum, the Slovak Republic has signalled that it is willing to
engage in talks. Below, we present you with a chronology of the
Gemerská Poloma economic crime thriller.
16.3.1998 EuroGas acquires the rights in a talc deposit thought to
be in Gemerská Poloma through its wholly-owned Slovakian subsidiary
Development activities carried out over the next ten years confirm
calculations made at the request of the Slovak Republic by a
high-ranking committee of experts at the end of the 1990s. Dr.
Milan Tregr is co-author of the experts’ report presented in 2000,
according to which the Germerská talc deposit is estimated to be
85.4 million tons. Calculated at the 2000 price, this is equivalent
to €600 million. The price of talc has soared since 2000. The
Germerská deposit is without doubt one of the biggest and purest
talc deposits in the world. Other notable deposits of this
important industrial mineral are found in China, Pakistan, Egypt,
France and Italy as well as the USA and Canada. Gemerská Poloma
lies some 400 km east of Vienna in Slovakia.
22.9.2000 Rozmin commissions the Slovakian company Ríma Muráň to
start mining operations to exploit the Gemerská deposit. Ríma
Muráň’s managing director and shareholder is Peter Čorej. His wife,
Zdenka Čorejová, is, meanwhile, an accountant at Rozmin.
Oct. 2001 Ríma Muráň halts work at the Gemerská Poloma mine due to
2002 Rozmin continues non-mining work for the Germerská deposit.
EuroGas concludes a supply contract for Rozmin with Mondo Minerals
“The Talc Company” based in Helsinki. According to its own
declarations Mondo is the world’s second-largest manufacturer of
31.5.2004 The District Mining Authority in Spišská Nová Ves grants
Rozmin a licence to resume mining work at the Gemerská Poloma mine,
which was suddenly suspended in October 2001 by the contractor Ríma
Muráň and the managing director Peter Čorej. The licence is granted
until 13.11.2006. The Mining Authority is directed by Ing. Antonin
09.11.2004 Work at the mine is resumed by the Slovak company
08.12.2004 The Director of the Mining Authority, Antonin Baffi,
carries out a detailed inspection of the mine. He records that the
work is being carried out properly and in accordance with the
regulations. Baffi explicitly confirms the mining licence, which
was renewed on 31.05.2004, until 13.11.2006.
30.12.2004 The District Mining Authority suddenly puts the rights
in the Gemerská Poloma mine out to tender again, even though the
Director of the Authority, Baffi, had convinced himself that the
work was progressing in an orderly manner and had confirmed the
continuation of the activities.
03.1.2005 The District Mining Authority informs Rozmin in a letter
signed by Antonin Baffi that the licence that had just been
confirmed had now been withdrawn from Rozmin. The reason given was
that no work had been carried out at the mine for the more than
three years: from 1.10.2001 to 18.11.2004.
On 1.1.2002 Slovakia issued Decree 558/2001, according to which
mining rights can be revoked if no work is carried out at the mine
concerned for the more than three years.
On 18.5.2011, on application from Rozmin, the Slovak Supreme Court
confirms that Decree 558/2001 cannot be applied retroactively to
the cessation of the mining work at the Gemerská deposit, which
took effect in October 2001. At most, according to the Court, the
Decree could be applied starting 1.1.2002. Three years had not
passed prior to the resumption of the mining work at the Gemerská
deposit on 18.11.2004. Furthermore, on 18.5.2011, the Supreme Court
acknowledged that Rozmin had already invested massively in the mine
project and had therefore not suspended the work for, possibly,
speculative reasons. The Supreme Court ruled, on this same ground,
that Decree 558/2001 did not apply to the Gemerská deposit and
Rozmin. The aim of Decree 558/2001 was to prevent speculation.
22.4.2005 Following the sudden new tender procedure of 30.12.2004,
the District Mining Authority transfers the rights in the Gemerská
Poloma mine to Economy Agency RV sro. Economy Agency is clearly a
mere postbox company of Zdenka Čorejová, Rozmin’s former
accountant. Zdenka Čorejová is the wife of Peter Čorej, shareholder
and managing director of the lead contractor, Ríma Muráň, which
suddenly suspended work at the Gemerská deposit in October
“The Talc Company” Mondo Minerals and the competing Italian talc
Group IMI Fabi Spa took part in the tender procedure for the
Gemerská deposit. These global companies came fourth and sixth. The
winner, Economy Agency, has no discernible mining experience or
On 27.2.2008, on application from Rozmin, the Slovak Supreme Court
revokes the decisions of the lower courts, which ruled that the
awarding of the mining rights to Economy Agency had been
3.5.2005 Rozmin is informed of the outcome of the tender procedure
by the Mining Authority.
2005 The postbox company Economy Agency RV merges with VSK Mining
sro. VSK Mining is a Slovak subsidiary of the Austrian company
Schmid Industrieholding (SIH). SIH, Wopfing, is one of the biggest
family firms in Austria. It is headed by Robert Schmid.
27.2.2008 On application from Rozmin, the Slovak Supreme Court
rules that: “the awarding of the mining rights for the Gemerská
deposit to Economy Agency was unlawful.”
2.7.2008 Despite the contrary ruling of the Slovak Supreme Court,
the District Mining Authority transfers the rights in the Gemerská
deposit, which had hitherto been held by Economy Agency, to VSK
Although VSK Mining felt certain that it was in possession of the
mining rights for the Gemerská deposit since the merger with
Economy Agency in 2005, it was not able to conduct regular mining
operations in the mine in the nine years up to and including
12.8.2008 The District Mining Authority revokes Rozmi’s general
mine operating licence, which Rozmin received from the Mining
Authority when it was founded in 1997.
Mid-2009 Rozmin brings an action against VSK Mining and Peter Čorej
before the Regional Court of Kosiče for industrial espionage. At
this time, in addition to his shareholder role at Ríma Muráň, Peter
Čorej is operations manager at VSK Mining. The proceedings in
Kosiče are still ongoing in 2014. Rozmin is demanding €2 million in
28.4.2011 In Bratislava, a meeting takes place in the Ministry of
Finance of the Slovak Republic at the invitation of the then
Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister, Ivan Mikloš. The
subject matter of this three-hour meeting is the search for an
opportunity to settle the dispute with EuroGas/Rozmin over the
Gemerská deposit out of court.
Three weeks later, on 18.5.2011, the Slovak Supreme Court rules on
the dispute over the rights in the Germerská deposit – in favour of
As a result of the meeting of 28.4.2011 and having regard to the
decision of the Supreme Court of 18.5.2011, on 15.6.2011 Minister
Mikloš writes to the head of EuroGas “Dear Mr. Rauball”, he and his
Ministry were willing to engage in expedient talks in order to
settle the dispute.
18.5.2011 The Slovak Supreme Court, on application from Rozmin,
finds against the Chief Mining Authority and against VSK Mining:
“The withdrawal of the mining rights for the Gemerská Poloma mine
on 3.1.2005 was unlawful.” With this decision, the Court
effectively withdraws from VSK Mining the mining rights that the
District Mining Authority had transferred to VSK Mining on
Disregarding this Supreme Court ruling, on 30.5.2012 the District
Mining Authority confirms the transfer of the mining rights to VSK
19.1.2012 The Regional Court in Kosiče rejects Rozmin’s appeal
against the withdrawal of the general operating licence by the
Mining Authority on 12.8.2008.
April 2012 The Slovak press reports that the EuroGas/Rozmin claim
against the Slovak Republic amounts to $1.65 billion.
7.5.2012 The expert witness Dr Tregr sends an open letter to the
recently appointed Prime Minister, Robert Fico, in which he insists
on the value of the Gemerská deposit, which he assessed more than
ten years before, and equates the mining laws of the Slovak
Republic to the conditions of a “banana republic”.
30.5.2012 The District Mining Authority confirms the transfer of
the mining rights for the Gemerská deposit of Economy Agency to VSK
Mining, its partner in the merger, although the Supreme Court had
decided more than a year before that these rights simply could not
be transferred, because they had been unlawfully withdrawn from
Rozmin and therefore still belonged to Rozmin.
June 2012 The new Minister of Finance, Peter Kažimír, who is also
Deputy Prime Minister of the Slovak Republic, announces that,
unlike his predecessor Mikloš, he sees no reason for talks
regarding an out-of-court settlement of the dispute with
In January 2014, the following important announcement appears
prominently on the website of the Slovak Ministry of Finance
(www.finance.gov.sk): “Slovakia denies EuroGas the formal right to
take action before the International Centre for Settlement of
Investment Disputes (ICSID) for violation of its rights of
On 28.1.2014 it is reported that, on 30.1.2014, Minister Kazimir
will write to the lawyers of EuroGas in Paris to inform them that
his Ministry is willing to enter into talks, before EuroGas submits
the claim it has already completed to the ICSID in Washington in
early February 2014.
September 2012 Expert witness Dr Tregr announces on the Slovak
national TV channel STV that the current value of the Gemerská
Poloma deposit is at least €1 billion.
1.8.2012 The Chief Mining Authority, under the directorship of Dr.
Ing. Peter Kúkelčik, confirms the transfer of the mining rights for
the Gemerská deposit of Economy Agency to the transferee, VSK
Mining/SIH, although the Supreme Court ruled on 18.5.2011 that
these rights had been unlawfully withdrawn from Rozmin. They
therefore could not be transferred; nor could the transfer be
31.1.2013 The Supreme Court rules: “The withdrawal of the general
operating licence for Rozmin on 12.8.2008 was unlawful.” The
District Mining Authority opposes the Court’s decision: it once
again denies Rozmin an operating licence.
1.9.2013 VSK Mining changes its name to Eurotalc.
23.12.2013 EuroGas, Rozmin’s parent company, announces the dispute
concerning the withdrawal of the rights in the Gemerská Poloma mine
to the government of the Slovak Republic through the Paris law firm
Derains & Gharavi (www.derainsgharavi.com). EuroGas threatens
to bring an action before the International Centre for Settlement
of Investment Disputes (ICSID) in Washington D.C. for violation of
its rights of ownership. A final deadline of 31.1.2014 is set.
EuroGas is claiming compensation of $1.65 billion, which equates to
€1.2 billion. The action is supported by funds provided by a major
international investment fund.
30.1.2014 On 28.1.2014, the Deputy Prime Minster and Minister of
Finance of the Slovak Republic, Peter Kažimír, informs EuroGas’s
lawyers in Paris by mail and by email that his Ministry was willing
to enter into talks.
Note: On 15.3.2014 Presidential elections are to be held in
Slovakia. Prime Minister Robert Fico, party colleague of his
Deputy, Kazimir, is under discussion as a candidate in these
According to investigations carried out by Transparency
International, corruption is a serious problem in Slovakia.
Additional information – Eurogas
EuroGas Inc. was founded initially on 7.10.1985 in Salt Lake City,
Utah, USA, and, in 1994, it adopted the name EuroGas Inc. The US
company has subsidiaries in Switzerland: EuroGas AG, Zurich, in
Austria: EuroGas GmbH, Vienna, as well as in Slovakia: Rozmin sro,
Bratislava, and in the USA: 77% share in Tombstone Exploration
Corp. Phoenix, Arizona. The EuroGas Group undertakes various
projects in the raw materials sector in USA, Canada and Europe.
Wolfgang Rauball (68) is from Dortmund, Germany. The Chairman and
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of EuroGas Inc. has lived for decades
in Vancouver, Canada. He currently also manages the European
EuroGas activities from the office in the centre of Vienna: “I hope
that, at the heart of the European Union, judgments of a Supreme
Court will be implemented and that we will be compensated for the
loss we have suffered over more than ten years”, says Wolfgang
Rauball: “It is a question of obtaining legal certainty in a full
Member State of the European Union and ensuring that Supreme Court
judgments are implemented in practice.”
Eurogas currently has 20 employees at its locations in Phoenix,
Vancouver, Canada, Zurich, Vienna and Bratislava.
Shares of EuroGas Inc. and EuroGas AG are not yet being traded
again on stock markets. Shares of the 77% subsidiary Tombstone
Exploration Corp. are listed in the USA as well as on the Berlin
Under the rules of the International Centre for Settlement of
Investment Disputes (www.icsid.worldbank.org), requests for
arbitration are to be submitted to the World Bank in Washington
D.C. The progress of the public tribunal can be followed at
Additional information – the Slovak Republic
Ing. Antonin Baffi is Director of the District Mining Authority in
Spišská Nová Ves.
Dr. Ing. Peter Kúkelčik is President of the Chief Mining Authority
in Banská Štiavnica.
Additional information – Austria
Robert Schmid is Managing Director of Schmid Industrieholding SIH
in Wopfing. SIH is the 100% owner of Eurotalc sro, formerly VSK
Vienna, 3.2.2014, Wolfgang Rauball,
Chairman, CEO of EuroGas Inc.
EuroGas GmbH, Neuer Markt 9 – 3, A 1010 Vienna
Tel: 0043 1 2308613-24
Martin Beier, Journalist since 1979
Media Office Düsseldorf, Im Winkel 4, 40627 Düsseldorf
Tel: 0049 211 157 713 33 0049 172 2478643
Fax: 0049 211 254014