HomeBase MetalsFirst Quantum starts legal action against ENRC

First Quantum starts legal action against ENRC

A view of part of
the massive Kolwezi
copper and cobalt
project in the DRC
Vancouver, Canada — MININGREVIEW.COM — 16 September 2010 – First Quantum Minerals Limited “’ which is fighting for its rights to the Kolwezi copper and cobalt project in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) “’ has started legal action against subsidiaries of Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation (ENRC), and will seek an injunction against the use of its equipment and plant there.

“First Quantum filed a claim in the British Virgin Islands in relation to the unlawful expropriation of its legal title to Kolwezi,” the company said in a statement. “The expropriation of the Kolwezi project has been orchestrated by certain interests within the government of the DRC and third parties, at First Quantum’s expense,” it claimed.

ENRC last month bought rights to the project, which was shut by the DRC government in September 2009 after the government claimed First Quantum hadn’t fulfilled its contractual obligations. First Quantum said it had.

Charlotte Kirkham “’ a spokeswoman for London-based ENRC “’ today reaffirmed a statement from the company last week, in which it said it had undertaken an extensive due-diligence process before making the purchase, and remained fully satisfied with the findings.

The DRC ambassador to South Africa, Bene M’Poko, who is also the government’s spokesman in the First Quantum dispute, didn’t respond to calls seeking comment.

“We are seeking damages related to the fair value of the project, which is a substantial sum,” said First Quantum president Clive Newall in a telephone interview today. The total “will be billions of dollars in terms of value.”