NuCoal starts legal action over cancelled exploration licence

NuCoal has launched legal action over the cancellation of its exploration licence, claiming the Independent Commission Against Corruption failed to perform its duty.

The New South Wales Government cancelled three corrupt mining licences earlier this year after the ICAC found former mining minister Ian Macdonald and a number of associates acted corruptly when issuing the tenements.

The quashed exploration tenements include NuCoal’s Doyles Creek and Cascade Coal’s Mt Penny and Glendon Brook licences.

Under the special legislation the companies will be forced to provide the State Government with all exploration data on the tenements and no compensation will be awarded.

NuCoal has maintained it was unaware of the corrupt conduct when it purchased the tenement in 2010 and has said it will take “whatever action is necessary" to protect its shareholders’ interests.

The company told the Australian Stock Exchange on Friday that it had hired a world-leading litigation firm to act on its behalf in a Supreme Court challenge.

It says the action will challenge the process undertaken by the ICAC.

It says the proceedings outline NuCoal's position that the ICAC, in making its findings and recommendations, failed to adequately consider or address NuCoal's submissions

“Accordingly, NuCoal belives ICAC failed to perform its statutory duty, did not act in accordance with the law and committed jurisdictional error,” the company said.

NuCoal has previously stated it was owed more than $500 million as a result of the expungesd licence.

“It is unacceptable that a Government considers that it has the right to take – with no compensation – the results of all the detailed exploration results NuCoal paid for,” Chairman Gordon Galt has said.

“There has been no consultation at all in regard to this matter.

“As a result of this decision, the reputation of NSW is further damaged and significant questions of sovereign risk in regards to investment in the resources industry under this Government have been further confirmed.”

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