Today, on 10th May 2019, Pacific Bauxite Limited (ASX: PBX) released an update on the Nendo Bauxite Project in the Solomon Islands. The Attorney-General of the Solomon Islands filed and served the notice of appeal with the Solomon Islands Court of Appeal, on behalf of the Minister of Mines, Energy and Rural Electrification, the Director of Mines and the Mines and Minerals Board. The Notice of Appeal seeks to appeal both the interlocutory ruling delivered on 19th October 2018 and also the final verdict delivered on 5th April 2019.
The Notice of Appeal records three grounds of appeal, i.e. first, the learned trial judge erred in law as well as fact in holding that the appeal avenue provided by s.71(5) of the Mines and Minerals Act to the holder of a permit, licence or lease suspended by the Minister need not be first exhausted before filing a claim for judicial review contrary to the requirements of r.15.3.8(d) of the Solomon Islands Court (Civil Procedure) Rules 2007. Secondly, the learned trial judge made an error in law and fact in holding that AU Capital Pty Ltd (now named Eight South Investments Pty Ltd) did not contravene s.28(1) of the Act by not first obtaining an approval in writing by the Mines and Minerals Board before allegedly transferring or otherwise dealing with Prospecting Licence 01/16. Thirdly, the learned trial judge erred in law and fact in holding that the Minister acted ultra vires his powers under s.71(1) and s.71(2) of the Act and thereby quashing his decision of 24th May 2018.
The Notice of Appeal purports to reserve the right to add further grounds of appeal. It seeks to set aside and strike out the application for judicial review or set aside the final ruling and affirm the Minister’s decision to cancel Prospecting Licence 01/16. The Notice of Appeal was filed before the 30 days of the final decision. No application to extend time or for leave to appeal the interlocutory ruling was served. The company’s joint venture company, Eight South Investments Pty Ltd is considering its position in relation to the Notice of Appeal and has 14 days to file a notice of contentions to affirm the decision on grounds other than those relied upon by the High Court.
Earlier in its quarterly activities report, PBX announced that the High Court of the Solomon Islands delivered its ruling in relation to the cancellation of the Nendo Bauxite Project’s prospecting license PL 01/16, held by its 50% owned Joint Venture Company, Eight South Investments Pty Ltd (JVC).
On the stock information front, at the time of writing (on 10th May 2019, AEST 01:30 PM), the stock of Pacific Bauxite was quoted at $0.009, with a market capitalisation of ~$3.57 million. Its 52 weeks high price stands at $0.037. Its absolute returns for the past one year, six months and three months are -75.68%, -30.77%, and -47.06%, respectively.
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