Court rules in favor of Deep-South Resources in licence renewal dispute

March 13, 2023

The  High Court has ordered Mines Minister Tom Alweendo to review his refusal to renew the copper project licence of Haib Minerals on EPL 3140 in Namibia.

The court granted relief to Canadian mining outfit Deep-South Resources, the parent company of Haib Minerals, which approached the courts seeking a remedy over the decision.

The court noted that the Minister and Mining Commissioner did not consider the large investments carried out by Deep-South to develop a low-grade deposit, and that the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the exploration program.

The judgment stated that the facts presented by Haib Minerals should not have been ignored in the evaluation process.

As a result of the order, the Minister must resume the licence renewal application procedure and arrive at a new decision. The Ministry has also been ordered to pay the legal costs of Haib Minerals.

Pierre Leveille, President & CEO of Deep-South, expressed confidence in creating a new positive working relationship with the Minister and the new Mining Commissioner, and viewed the verdict as an important decision for Namibia, showcasing that the rule of law prevails in the country.

Leveille also thanked shareholders for their strong support over the difficult period.

The Haib copper deposit, located near the South African border in the course of the Orange River, was discovered in the early 1900s and held by a South African prospector from the mid-1950s to 2003. Many large companies invested large sums of money into exploring and developing the deposit, but development never reached the stage of constructing and operating a mine, as the deposit is large tonnage but very low grade and was always considered sub-economic.

The Minister and the Mining Commissioner have the right to appeal the judgment in the Supreme Court of Namibia, which must be filed within 21 court days from the date of the judgment.

Deep-South will consult its legal advisers to prepare the way forward and pursue the licence renewal procedure. More information about the matter will be disclosed in due course, the miner said.

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Last modified on Tuesday, 14 March 2023 16:15

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