Bloomberg News

South Africa Grants Sishen-Rights Appeal to State, ICT

May 11, 2012

South Africa won permission to appeal a court ruling that annulled its award of rights at the nation’s biggest iron-ore mine to Imperial Crown Trading 289 (Pty) Ltd.

“My word should not be the last and final word,” Judge Raymond Zondo of the North Gauteng High Court said in Pretoria today. The matter is important enough for it to be heard by the country’s Supreme Court of Appeal, he said.

The court in December overturned the award of a prospecting permit at the Sishen mine to Imperial, whose owners include a business partner of President Jacob Zuma’s son, Duduzane. Sishen Iron Ore, the division of Anglo American Plc (AAL)’s Kumba Iron Ore Ltd. (KIO) unit that operates the mine, and ArcelorMittal South Africa Ltd. (ACL) had asked the court to annul the award. ArcelorMittal (MT) South Africa previously held part of the mining right to the property.

In March 2010, Kumba canceled a 2001 accord to supply 6.25 million metric tons of ore a year from Sishen to ArcelorMittal South Africa at cost plus 3 percent. Kumba said it lapsed because ArcelorMittal failed to renew its mining license for a portion of the deposit, an argument rejected by the steelmaker.

ArcelorMittal South Africa declined for a fourth day, losing 0.2 percent to 55.35 rand by the 5 p.m. close in Johannesburg. Kumba retreated 1 percent to 521.61 rand.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jana Marais in Johannesburg at jmarais@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Viljoen at jviljoen@bloomberg.net


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