You are here: HomeNews2018 02 08Article 624799

General News of Thursday, 8 February 2018


Summary of Court ruling in Exton Cubic Case

Lawyers for the company had filed the suit against the decision by the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources revoking the license of the company in the bauxite concession in Nyinahin of the Ashanti Region.

We can report the following:

That from pages 35 to 43 of the ruling, the court indicated that Exton Cubic has no mineral rights even though the Court quashed the letter signed by the Honourable Minister of Lands and Natural Resources John Peter Amewu revoking the license of Exton Cubic.

A look at the materials filed and in particular, the affidavit in opposition and exhibits showing the processes leading to the signing of the mining leases shows that the lease did not comply with the statute, the Minerals and Mining Act, 2006 (Act 703). By section 12 of Act 703, the Minerals Commission is required to submit its recommendation on an application for mineral right to the Minister within 90 days after receiving the application. The Minister is required by law to make a decision on the application within 60 days of receipt.

The Judge found that this is not what happened in the instant case. The Minerals Commission advised Exton Cubic to pay for the lease on 10th November, 2016. Exton Cubic also actually paid for the lease on 12th December, 2016, before the Minerals Commission on 28th December, purported to recommend to the Minister to grant Exton Cubic the Mining Lease. The Minister signed the next day.

The Judge on these facts, holds that “based on the law as stated above and a thorough review of the materials filed, I have no hesitation in concluding that the Minerals Commission had no authority to offer the Applicant the leases and request it to make payment before the recommendation. It is the prerogative of the Minister to offer the leases and not the Commission. It is also clear that the statutory timelines were not complied with”.

Further, Judge held that in light of Article 268 of the Constitution and Clause 1(f) of the signed lease, the Applicant cannot be said to have a mineral right based on the wording of the lease and constitutional provision and case law. The Supreme Court has held that a failure to comply with a constitutional provision for parliamentary ratification is fatal and creates no rights. The applicant (Exton Cubic) therefore has no mining rights as required by law.

The Respondent Minister is not clothed with jurisdiction to determine the legality or otherwise of the lease. Judicial functions or legal adjudication should be the preserve of judges, or persons with legal training. The Minister arrogated to himself the role of an adjudicator, even as it seems he legitimately believed he was protecting the state’s resources.

The Judge was also not convinced that the Minister gave the applicant a hearing.

On the strength of the above, he proceeded to quash the Minister’s letter but refused all the other reliefs of the applicant including the application for an injunction restraining the Minister from interfering with applicant’s rights acquired by virtue of the leases and also an order of injunction restraining the Minister from granting the rights acquired by the mining leases.