"With the guidance and critical expertise provided by our UNDP Mission, key cabinet ministers renegotiated the mining contract that supported the national economy. The Mission team with CMI Concord Group as its negotiation expert probably saved the government at least a billion dollars over the life of the contract."
- Thomas Walde, as United Nations DTCD Interregional Advisor on Mineral Investment and Project Coordination
The Dominican Republic's nickel mining contract with Falconbridge, Ltd. was in trouble. The 1970s-era contract that was supposed to yield over US$200 million in revenue had produced only US$5 million on nickel sales of over US$1 billion. The unexpectedly rapid rise in oil costs for the nickel refining process explained the shortfall, but didn't solve the problem. The Dominican economy was failing, mining revenues had dwindled to nothing, the country's nonrenewable ore – its patrimony – continued to leave its ports in foreign investors' freighters, and the government felt it was the laughing stock of the developing world. The President, Joaquin Balaguer, imposed a 20% tax on exports and, when Falconbridge refused to pay, mining ground to a halt. Neither party could afford to abandon the relationship; neither one could afford to give in to the other.
The Dominican Republic called on the United Nations for help. CMI Concord served as negotiation advisor on the UN Mission. Within the government negotiating team of cabinet ministers and expert advisors on economics, trade, finance, labor, tourism and mining, preparation for negotiation had become snared in legitimate but vastly differing points of view about their goals and strategies. Over a long critical weekend, CMI Concord led the government team through a Seven Elements preparation session examining the interests and communication patterns of all stakeholders, options for high value resolution, externally derived standards of fairness, approaches for developing a good working relationship and clear communication, the requirements for a sufficient agreement, and a plan of action if agreement was not possible.
Emerging from that weekend, the government team was aligned and ready to complete final preparations for negotiation. Within months, the government and Falconbridge had reached a new agreement. The over all result was that the government received US$123 million in additional taxes in that year and Falcondo, the operating company, made a record profit of US$88 million. The UN sponsor of the mission estimated that CMI Concord's work enabled the government team to save at least US$1 billion over the life of the renegotiated contract.