Environmental authorisation

Bubye Minerals (Pvt) Ltd v Min. of Mines & Mining Development & Others (350/06) [2011] ZWSC 3 (13 November 2011);


Judgment No. SC 3/11

Civil Appeal No. 350/06




This Supreme Court case revolved around a compromise agreement between the fourth respondent and the appellant. The fourth respondent, a registered mining company, was going bankrupt and its management was entrusted to the liquidator. The liquidator then granted the appellant the right to treat stockpiles of ore at the mine to raise money to pay the creditors. The appellant then attempted to have all mining activities registered under its name. In doing so, the appellant misrepresented the facts to the third respondents without involving the fourth respondent stating that it paid the creditors their dues and as such, it was entitled to have mining activities registered under its name. However, the fourth respondent succeeded in establishing that the appellant was lying. This led the third respondent to cancel the appellant’s falsely obtained mineral rights. The High Court agreed with the respondents that the appellant's mineral rights over the plot in dispute were justifiably cancelled. The appellant felt aggrieved by the court’s judgement and appealed to the Supreme Court.

The issue for determination was whether the appellant was allowed to register mining rights under its name and whether the third respondent erred in cancelling its rights.

The Supreme Court held that agreements cannot be valid if consent was obtained through misrepresentation. Consequently, it found that the appellant was unjustified and supported the third respondent’s decision to cancel the falsely obtained rights.

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