Cortec moves to Court of Appeal over licence

March 23, 2015
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The company is aggrieved with the ruling of Justice John Mutungi and now wants the appellate court re-evaluate the decision/FILE
The company is aggrieved with the ruling of Justice John Mutungi and now wants the appellate court re-evaluate the decision/FILE
NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 23 – Cortec Mining Kenya Limited has moved to the Court of Appeal seeking to set aside the judgment of the High Court which dismissed its bid to quash the decision of Mining Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala to cancel its license.

The company is aggrieved with the ruling of Justice John Mutungi and now wants the appellate court re-evaluate the decision.

The company’s director Jacob Juma, says that the judgment is flawed and the court did not address the issue as contained in the application for judicial review.

Juma says that the company had complied with requirements which included an Environmental Impact Assessment study report for the proposed Mrima Hill niobium and associated rare earth mining.

He argues that the court did not take into account several issues raised in the application.

Cortec lawyer Nelson Havi had told the court that the mining company had complied with the requirement under the Forest Act and the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) pointing out that the decision by Balala to order the cancellation of the license was unlawful and ought to be quashed by the court.

READ: Balala cancels mining licences issued from Jan-May

Havi submitted that the action by the Cabinet Secretary is amenable to judicial review proceedings, which the applicant has properly applied to have the same set aside.

He said the applicant had made all the requirements as set out under the mining Act, saying it’s the Commissioner of Mining and Geology who ought to summon the management of Cortec if there was non-compliance to regulation and rules and not the minister.

The High Court on Friday, upheld its decision to revoke mining licenses issued in 2013 to Cortec Mining Kenya Limited to explore minerals in Mrima Hills, Kwale County on grounds that the firm had indeed been given the license unprocedurally.

READ: Mrima Hills exploration to be done by Government

Following the ruling Balala announced that no private firm or individual will be allowed to explore minerals at Mrima Hills in Kwale County and will now be done by the State through the National Mining Corporation which is yet to be formed.

“Not even Cortec or any other company will be allowed to do exploration at Mrima. It will be handled on behalf of the people of Kenya and especially the people of Mrima and Kwale County as a whole,” Balala said.

The minerals are estimated to be worth excess of $600 billion but following the new developments, the CS says the next step will now be to appoint a team of geologists who will get the actual value of the minerals.

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