Key landowner federations declare 3rd party intervention in support of Arctic Mineral Resources’ appeal to the Supreme Court in the case against Nordic Rutile AS (NRU), a wholly owned subsidiary of Nordic Mining ASA (NOM).
Arnold Rørholt, lawyer and AMR’s Chairman, welcomes the 3rd party intervention in favour of AMR:
“The intervention will ensure that the Supreme Court, as opposed to the courts of lower instance, appreciates the principal nature of the case and the Constitutional issues underpinning it, and interprets the Mineral Act in light of these – to the favour of AMR.”
“The Western part of the Engebø garnet and rutile province contains around half of the proven reserves in the Engebø deposit, as well as a majority of inferred resources and will support a highly profitable 50 years plus fully underground mining project without a need for deposits on land or in the sea” continues Rørholt.
Arctic Mineral Resources (AMR) and the federations argue that the two mineral categories – owned by the landowners and the state, respectively – have equal rights. Neither obliterate nor take preference over the other. NOM/NRU argues that extraction rights to state-owned minerals eliminate the need to obtain rights to landowner-owned minerals in a given deposit. AMR and the federations argue that AMR’s mineral rights to garnet prohibit NRU from mining the Western half of the Engebø garnet and rutile deposit. The Ministry of Industry, Trade and Fisheries is currently processing AMR’s application for an operating licence in AMR’s part of the deposit.
The judgement in the case from the Courts of lower instance gave AMR a partial win; garnet in the Engebø mineral province is owned by the landowners. The verdict opened for NRU to extract ore on AMR’s mineral lease area; however, if AMR could prove to the authorities the commercial viability of mining garnet on a stand-alone basis, NRU would be obliged to compensate AMR for the value of garnet less a share of its operating costs.
AMR has appealed the judgement to the Supreme Court. Two of the key landowner federations in Norway, NORSKOG and the Norwegian Forest Owners’ Federation (‘Norges Skogeierforbund’), have now declared 3rd party intervention to AMR’s benefit in the appeal before the Supreme Court, as the outcome of the appeal is important to their 35 000 members. This means that they will appear before the Supreme Court with their own lawyers to argue against upholding the judgement from the Courts of lower instance. Upholding the verdict would represent a confiscation or a limitation of private property interest in violation of the Constitution of Norway, with a profound negative impact on numerous Norwegian landowners.
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