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Samancor Chrome Ltd v North West Chrome Mining (Pty) Ltd and Others

24 December 2021

The judgment of the Supreme Court of Appeal is available here.

Neutral citation: Samancor Chrome Ltd v North West Chrome Mining (Pty) Ltd and Others (Case no 30/20) [2021] ZASCA 183

Coram: Petse AP and Dambuza, Van Der Merwe, Makgoka and Mabindla-Boqwana JJA

Judgment delivered: 23 December 2021

Outcome: Appeal from North West Division of the High Court, Mahikeng, upheld with costs. Respondents interdicted from mining on a portion of land over which Samancor held prospecting rights.

Summary: 

In 2018, Samancor launched an urgent application in the high court for an order interdicting and restraining North West Chrome Mining Proprietary Limited and the second respondent, Monageng Family Mining Services Proprietary Limited, from various mining activities on a particular portion of land over which Samancor held prospecting rights.

Samancor had discovered that the second respondent was conducting mining activities on a portion of one of the properties covered by its prospecting right under various mining permits and approached the high court to prevent these activities occurring.

The high court found in favour of the respondents and dismissed the application for lack of urgency. The high court considered whether Samancor’s prospecting right was valid and found that it was not, due to a portion of land reflected in it not having been formally subdivided which resulted in the rights being “issued on the basis of incorrect or insufficient information.”

The SCA held that the court a quo had erred in finding Samancor’s right invalid as it had not been asked to make such an order. The application had been for an interdict and not a judicial review.  The mining permits held by the respondents had since lapsed and the respondents were in any case mining outside the area authorised by their permits.

The SCA ordered that the respondents are interdicted from conducting mining activities on the contested portion of land.