The High Court of Namibia has rendered its judgment in a court case brought by copper explorer and developer Deep-South Resources to renew its licence to explore the Haib copper project, consequently reviewing the case and setting aside the decision of the Ministry of Mines and Energy of Namibia not to renew the licence.
As such, the court has instructed Namibia Mines and Energy Minister Tom Alweendo to restart Deep-South’s EPL 3140 licence renewal application procedure and arrive at a new decision.
The court has also ordered the Ministry to pay the legal costs of Deep-South subsidiary Haib Minerals.
Deep-South president and CEO Pierre Leveille says this is a “very positive” verdict, adding that the company is confident it will be able to create a new positive working relationship with Namibia Mines and Energy Minister Alweendo and Mining Commissioner Isabella Kandjii-Chirchir.
The court noted that the facts presented by Haib Minerals should not have been ignored in the evaluation process.
The judgment mentions that Alweendo and Kandjii-Chirchir did not consider the large investments carried out by Deep-South to develop a low-grade deposit.
The court also states that Alweendo and Kandjii-Chirchir did not take into consideration the fact that the Covid-19 pandemic impacted on the exploration programme.
Deep-South will now consult its legal advisers to prepare the way forward and pursue the licence renewal procedure.
Alweendo and Kandjii-Chirchir have the right to appeal the judgment in the Supreme Court of Namibia, but will need to file such a request within 21 court days from the date of the judgment.
Leveille says the judgment is an important decision for Namibia as it shows that the rule of law prevails in Namibia. “Our board of directors would like to thank our shareholders for their strong support over all that difficult period.”
Edited by: Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online
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