More documents requested in Haib licence saga

• By Hilary Mare

THE legal counsel of the Ministry of Mines and Energy of Namibia has proceeded with a filing earlier this month, wherein it agreed to request the court to issue an order to request that TSX-V-listed Deep-South Resources file additional documents to support its original affidavit by December 15.

The filing did not include any documents supporting the decision of the minister to deny the renewal of the Haib copper licence.

The additional documents will include expert advice covering the exploration work carried out by Deep-South on the project and the work programme proposed for the renewal of the licence, the miner said on December 2.

The documents will also include an update of the funds invested in project development thus far.

Additionally, considering that the court will be closed for a yearly recess between mid-December and mid-January, the mines ministry will have until February 14 to file its defence affidavit.

Deep-South will then have until February 28 to reply.

Another hearing will be held on March 3 to define the further procedures with regard to the review of the decision of the Minister.

Deep-South was notified in June of the ministry’s refusal to review the Haib copper licence, including an exclusive prospecting licence over the area covered by the project, hampering the company from advancing the project.

The company maintains that the ministry was kept well apprised, with no objection on its part, of a proposed change from a prefeasibility study to an upgraded preliminary economic assessment and the start of a full feasibility study.

The latter was already started at the time of the refusal.

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

As a result of the minister’s refusal to renew the licence, Deep-South terminated all work on site and proceeded with the retrenchment of its employees on site.

Earlier this year, Confidente reported that Deep-South Resources 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.