In South Africa the courts are now to decide the politically charged mining case involving the awarding of a mining prospect to a small firm which is well connected to known politicians.
The North Gauteng High Court will get the entire mining industry’s undivided attention as it tries the case of Kumba Iron Ore.
The court based in Pretoria will pass judgment about the award of 21.4% prospecting rights that were given to Kumba Iron, which were awarded to a subsidiary known as Sishen Iron Ore. The disputed claim was originally with ArcelorMittal and they were unable to renew their rights in 2009 due to changes made by the South African government.
Sishen Iron Ore then applied and was expecting to be granted the rights to the mine, but that did not happen. Imperial Crown Trading, a company with no mining history and well heeled political connections was applied the 21.4% prospecting rights in the mine. The big weights who own part of the Imperial Crown Trading Company include Jagdish Parekh, former chief executive of JIC Mining Services, and South Africa President Jacob Zuma’s son Duduzane.
Sishen Iron Ore had contested the award of the prospecting rights to Imperial Crown Trading and the two year old case is finally coming to a close. Kumba Iron Ore, the main company behind Sishen, is a unit of the global mining giant Anglo American.