JSE-listed Bauba Platinum on Friday informed its shareholders that the High Court, in Pretoria, had set aside the granting of a chrome-ore mining right to Samancor Chrome in respect of the farms Wintersveld, Jagdlust and Zeekoegat, owing to a lack of proper notice and consultation with interested and affected parties.
Samancor Chrome initially applied for the chrome-ore mining right in November 2011. The application was initially refused by the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) director general, owing to lack of proper notification and consultation with affected parties.
Pursuant to the refusal of Samancor Chrome’s mining right, the properties became open for application, and Bauba, through a subsidiary, lodged an application for a prospecting right over the Zeekoegat property in June 2016.
Bauba’s application was accepted by the DMR; however, Samancor Chrome soon thereafter appealed to the Mineral Resources Minister to refuse the mining right.
The appeal was upheld and the mining right granted to Samancor Chrome, which the court has now set aside.
“In setting aside the Minister’s decision to grant Samancor Chrome the mining right and remitting it back to the Minister for reconsideration, the High Court concluded that there indeed was inadequate notification and inadequate consultation with interested and affected parties.
“The court has directed [Mineral Resources Minister Gwede] Mantashe to reconsider the application, while giving proper consideration to Samancor Chrome’s failure to consult with affected parties,” Bauba stated.
It added that Samancor Chrome has requested written reasons for the decision from the High Court, which should be furnished shortly.
Samancor Chrome may apply for leave to appeal and this process, and any appeal, will be finalised in the ordinary course.
“If the High Court, or the Minister, uphold the refusal of Samancor Chrome’s application for a mining right, then Bauba’s application for a prospecting right will be next in line for consideration by the DMR.
“Bauba is confident that its application will be considered favourably. This
chrome-ore asset is valuable to Bauba owing to the size of the underground and opencast resource, as well as its close proximity to Bauba’s Moeijelijk mine,” said Bauba.