Deep South takes govt to court over licence

By Hilary Mare

DEEP-SOUTH Resources has filed an application on behalf of its subsidiary Haib Minerals with the High Court for an order reviewing the decision of the Minister of Mines and Energy, Tom Alweendo not to renew licence EPL 3140, covering the Haib copper project.
The application also seeks an urgent interdict to prevent the Ministry of Mines and Energy from granting a licence over the same area to another party.
The respondents to the affidavit are the Minister of Mines and Energy, the Mining Commissioner and Orange River Exploration and Mining.
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Orange River is cited owing to its possible interest in the matter since it applied for an exclusive prospecting licence extending over the Haib copper deposit on November 12 last year.
Deep-South has stated its intention to vigorously contest the minister’s decision by all means necessary and available under the applicable laws of Namibia, as well as international laws.
The company maintains that, in its application for renewal and subsequent representations made, it clearly demonstrated having met all criteria under the Minerals Prospecting and Mining Act and licence conditions to justify the renewal of its licence.
Deep-South was notified in June of the minister’s refusal to renew the licence, which has since rendered the company unable to advance the project to prefeasibility study stage and complete a proposed drilling programme.
“As disclosed in our press release dated June 16, 2021, the Company had received notice from the Ministry informing the Company that its application for the renewal of its Licence had been denied citing the Company’s inability to advance the Licence to Pre-Feasibility and complete the proposed drilling program as planned.
“The Company maintains that the Ministry was kept well apprised, with no objection on their part, of a proposed change from the Pre-Feasibility (PFS) study to an upgraded Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) and the commencement of a full Feasibility Study (FS). The latter was already commenced with at the time of the refusal. Moreover, the Ministry issued all permits required for the drilling programme and officials were well aware that Haib had completed the drilling program at the time of the refusal to renew,” the company said in a statement last week.
The Ministry issued all permits required for the drilling programme.
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As a result of the minister’s refusal to renew the licence, the company has terminated all work on site and proceeded with the retrenchment of its employees.
The company is also investigating its international legal options and will disclose its strategy in due course.
“Recovering the rights of Haib Copper remains the number one priority of the Company. However, Management of Deep-South was already looking at other projects before the situation arose with the Haib licence. It is important to carry on with the development of the company and start again adding value for shareholders.
“Our team is currently evaluating projects. We have identified copper and gold exploration projects that have the potential for world class discoveries and resources. We will keep our shareholders informed timely of any new developments,” extended the company.