Axiom Mining has resounding win in Solomon Islands High Court nickel case
Axiom Mining has won a David versus Goliath battle in the Solomon Islands High Court with Axiom triumphing over Sumitomo’s claims.
The High Court dismissed Sumitomo’s claims, finding “the proceedings have been shown to be an abuse of the court’s process.
Axiom shares are expected to climb.
The High Court discharged Sumitomo’s injunction preventing Axiom’s exploration or mining activities. It also placed a continuing permanent injunction restraining Sumitomo from interfering with Axiom’s business activities in Solomon Islands.
The company is targeting to start a direct shipping ore operation within the next 12 to 18 months.
Axiom’s claim for costs and damages will now be pursued.
“This judgment vindicates Axiom’s assertions that we have always acted correctly and with integrity,” chief executive officer Ryan Mount said.
“With our Prospecting Licence and registered lease recognised, we can now re-commence our exploration of the tenement with our partners, the Kolosori and Bungusule landowners.
“Work on this tenement—one of the largest nickel laterite deposits in the Pacific—will start on Monday.
“We are targeting the start of a Direct Shipping Ore operation within 12 to 18 months.”
Chair of the Kolosori Trustees Mr Elliot Cortez said,
“We are very pleased that we have been able to successfully defend our land rights.
“We look forward to working closely with Axiom to develop the nickel deposit as well as hopefully constructing a mine.”
“We are glad to have Axiom back on the land and look forward to the results of their exploration in developing the world-class Isabel nickel deposit,” Solomon Island Minister for Mines, Energy and Rural Electrification Moses Garu said.
“We hope to receive a mining lease application for this project from Axiom in the not too distant future.”
High Court Decision
Solomon Islands High Court Commissioner John Brown ruled in favour of Axiom KB Limited, the local subsidiary of Axiom Mining, in the Solomon Islands High Court case 258/11 between SMM Solomon Limited (“Sumitomo”) and others v Axiom, Solomon Islands Government and others.
His judgements include:
– validation of Axiom’s registered lease and Prospecting Licence over the Isabel nickel deposit;
– Rejection of all of Sumitomo’s claims;
– Discharge of the injunction preventing Axiom’s exploration activities on the Isabel nickel deposit;
– Sumitomo’s undertaking as to damages continues in respect of any damages claimed by Axiom;
– Order for a continuing permanent injunction restraining Sumitomo from interfering in Axiom’s mining, prospecting or other business interests in Solomon Islands; and
– Arguments on costs to be determined.
Axiom had commenced exploration activities on Santa Isabel Island in 2011 when the Prospecting Licence was awarded, however activities were halted by an injunction brought on by a civil claim by Sumitomo.