Haib saga takes new twist

… as High Court interdicts minister

By Hilary Mare

IN an ongoing saga between Deep-South Resources and the mines and energy ministry, the High Court of Namibia has interdicted the ministry from granting a mineral licence, including an exclusive prospecting licence (EPL) over the area covered by the Haib Copper project.

The interdict and restraint order will be in force until the final determination of the application to the High Court to review the decision of the minister not to renew the EPL 3140 licence held by TSX-listed mineral exploration and development company Deep-South Resources.

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The court will hold another hearing on September 16 to define the steps forward with regard to reviewing the decision by Namibia Mines and Energy Minister Tom Alweendo not to renew Deep-South’s EPL.

“As disclosed in June, Deep-South received notice from the ministry that its application for the renewal of its EPL had been denied owing the company’s inability to advance the EPL to prefeasibility [stage] and complete the proposed drilling programme as planned,” the company said in a statement on September 1.

“Deep-South maintains that the ministry was kept well apprised, with no objections, of a proposed change from the prefeasibility study to an upgraded preliminary economic assessment (PEA) and the commencement of a full feasibility study.

“The latter was already started.

Additionally, the ministry issued all permits required for the drilling programme and was well aware that Deep-South had completed the drilling programme,” the company reiterated.

Deep-South has since terminated all work on site and has proceeded with the retrenchment of its employees on site as it works to resolve the impasse with the ministry.

“The company is vigorously contesting this decision by all means necessary and available under the Minerals Prospecting and Mining Act and other applicable laws of Namibia.

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“In its application for renewal and subsequent representations made to the ministry, Deep-South maintains that it clearly demonstrated having met all criteria under the Act to justify the renewal of its licence,” it stated.