- Lindian Resources has finally commenced a High Court hearing to settle disputes over its Kangankunde Rare Earths project
- Last year, the company entered an agreement with Malawi and geologist Michael Saner to earn 75 per cent of the project
- However, Saner backtracked on the initial agreement and Lindian filed a complaint claiming defraudation, triggering an injunction by the High Court
- Many attempts were made to help both parties settle before it reached the court, yet nothing was resolved
- Lindian vowed to legally force Michael to abide by his initial agreement
- The company will now file closing submissions and a judgement will be made early next year
- Company shares are down 2.94 per cent with stocks trading for 1.7 cents
Lindian Resources has finally commenced a High Court hearing to settle disputes over its Kangankunde Rare Earths project.
The company presented a strong case during its first hearing on November 4 and 5, and is confident its case received a fair hearing.
The Kangankunde project has been plagued by litigation claims for over a decade, with most disputes involving South African geologist Michael Saner’s refusal to relinquish his project stake.
In September 2018, a consent order was signed between the Malawi Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Environment and Michael. This would allow Lindian to acquire up to 75 per cent of the Kangankunde project.
The consent order was considered a milestone achievement for the company, yet it failed to bring the impending legal battle to a close.
Later that year, Michael and his company, Rift Valley Resources, wrote to Lindian to notify the explorer of his intention to cancel the existing earn-in agreement and drastically change the terms.
As a result, Lindian filed a criminal complaint in November, asserting it was defrauded and misrepresented.
The company was granted an injunction by the High Court of Malawi, preventing Rift Valley and Saner from dealing with shares in the Kangankunde Rare Earths project.
In the following months, Lindian and other parties met in an attempt to resolve and settle the matter, although no agreement was reached.
Lindian stated in April it would continue to legally force Saner and Rift Valley to proceed with the agreement or otherwise financially back up losses the company incurred.
Company Managing Director Shannon Green said the legal proceedings have been fairly inexpensive and are worth the potential upside of this case.
“Whilst the Gaoual Bauxite Project in Guinea is the Company’s main focus, shareholders should not lose sight of the fact that Lindian is in a strong legal position with regards to its rights to the Kangankunde Rare Earths Project in Malawi,” Shannon said.
Lindian will now file closing submissions within the next three weeks. After that, the Court will have 90 days to prepare and deliver its judgement.
Lindian Resources’ shares are down 2.94 per cent and shares are trading at 1.7 cents at 12:28 pm AEDT.