SUMITOMO has filed a notice of appeal to the Solomon Islands Court of Appeal in response to the High Court judgment that was delivered in favour of Axiom KB, the Solomon Islands Government and the Isabel landowners.
Commissioner Brown handed down his decision on 24 September 2014 in the Solomon Islands High Court, dismissing all of Sumitomo’s claims and enabling Axiom to recommence nickel prospecting activities in Isabel Province.
In October, Sumitomo attempted to place an anotherinterim injunction on Axiom’s exploration works on Isabel even after the High Court said that Sumitomo’s trial in the High Court was “an abuse of the courts proceedings”.
But the Court of Appeal rejected Sumitomo’s application.
Chair of the Kolosori Trustees Mr Elliot Cortez said, “I think Sumitomo should respect the court decisions and the wishes of us, the landowners and resource owners, and stop all its attempts to frustrate our development endeavours.”
In Commissioner Brown’s judgment he stated that the litigation instigated by Sumitomo was “an abuse of the courts proceedings”.
Commissioner Brown of the High Court also stated that a number of Sumitomo Directors, officers and employees were “dishonest” and conducted themselves with “deceit” as well as the Managing Director being “dishonourable”.
He also referred to Sumitomo through its Managing Director as:
•”misleading the Solomon Islands Government and the landowners”
•having “treated the Solomon Islands government with disdain” and behaving with “obliquity”—meaning without morals
•behaving “unconsoinable”, being “untruthful” and that Sumitomo “should reconsider its relationship with the Solomon Islands Government.
Axiom CEO Mr Ryan Mount said, “This matter will not deter from our plan to establish a a mine for in Isabelwithin 12 to 18 months.
“If a hearing is called in the Court of Appeal we will once again defend our rights. We will also support our partners—the Isabel landowners. We are confident of a successful outcome as the High Court awarded us and the landowners a definitive win.”
Mr Mount said the Axiom team was getting on with the job of developing the Isabel nickel deposit, which would benefit not only the landowners and Isabel communities, but also the Solomon Islands Government.
In a statement by Sumitomo it said; SMM Solomon made a detailed analysis of the decision and filed the notice of appeal to the Court of Appeals of Solomon Islands today (Friday).”
SMM Solomon SMMS, has been conducting prospecting activities in both Choiseul and Isabel Provinces since 2005 for 9 years. SMMS maintains operational base camp in Isabel Province expecting and in preparation for the possible activities next year, the statement said.