AXIOM says it will recommence exploration at its Isabel Nickel Project this week after the Court of Appeal set aside the interim injunction instigated by Sumitomo on 30 September.
Shares in the company in the Australian stock market are trading higher on the news.
Key points of the decision included:
– The interim injunction ordered by the Chief Justice on 30 September 2014 was set aside;
– The orders made by the Chief Justice on 30 September 2014 was vacated and Sumitomo’s application was dismissed; and
– Costs awarded to Axiom in relation to the hearing before the Chief Justice on 30 September 2014 and Axiom’s application to set aside the interim injunction.
The Court of Appeal also made clear that this decision is intended to prevent Sumitomo from applying for further injunctions against Axiom over its exploration rights on the Isabel nickel deposit, regardless of whether Sumitomo lodges an appeal.
Axiom chief executive officer Ryan Mount said the company will recommence exploration of the world class Isabel nickel deposit this week.
“The events of the past week will not distract us from our goal of establishing a direct shipping of ore operation in 12 to 18 months’ time,” he added.
“We look forward to the court hearing our claim on costs in coming weeks as well the potential for a damages claim in the future.”
The Court of Appeal hearing follows Sumitomo’s application last week, seeking an interim injunction to restrain Axiom from undertaking various activities on the Isabel nickel deposit.
The basis of Sumitomo’s application was that they intended to appeal the 24 September 2014 judgment of Commissioner Brown over the Isabel nickel deposit and wanted the “status quo” to remain pending the determination of the appeal.
Commissioner Brown had delivered judgment in favour of Axiom and dismissed all of Sumitomo’s claims, finding that “the proceedings have been shown to be an abuse of the court’s processes”.
Chair of the Kolosori Trustees Chief Elliot Cortez said justice had been served.
“It is good that Axiom KB is free once again to develop the Isabel nickel deposit, for the betterment of our communities and our nation.
“We do not know why Sumitomo keeps on frustrating us landowners,” Chief Cortez said.
Isabel Nickel Project
The Isabel Nickel Project is 80% owned by Axiom KB, where KB stands for Kolosori and Bungusule being the two original customary landowning tribes, who collectively own the remaining 20% interest.
The Kolosori tenement covers 49 square kilometres on Isabel Island and is covered by Axiom’s leasehold and prospecting licence.
It has historic and non-JORC resources estimated at 159 million tonnes at 1.045% nickel and 0.07% cobalt.
Low cost open pit mining can very quickly generate a direct shipping ore that significantly reduces both operating cash cost and capital cost for plant, power requirements and infrastructure.