24 May 2013 15:16 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--US titanium dioxide (TiO2) firm Tronox has reached a settlement with South Africa’s Mtunzini Conservancy in a dispute over Tronox’s ilmenite and zircon mining project in northern KwaZulu-Natal, it said on Friday.
Tronox said that under the settlement the Mtunzini Conservancy agreed to drop its application to South Africa's Supreme Court of Appeal to halt early-phase construction of Tronox's Fairbreeze mining project.
In January, the Durban High Court had dismissed, with costs, an application filed by the Mtunzini Conservancy for an injunction to halt early-phase construction at Fairbreeze.
However, the high court subsequently granted Mtunzini leave to appeal.
Tronox said that Mtunzini then approached Tronox to request a settlement be reached before the conservancy pursues lodgement of papers with the court in relation to its appeal.
The terms of the settlement require that Tronox pay its own legal costs related to the Durban High Court judgment. In exchange, the conservancy will drop its Supreme Court of Appeal application, Tronox said.
"The settlement is seen as a positive result for Tronox, with the High Court judgment remaining in Tronox's favour and confirming that it acted lawfully," the company said.
"This provides Tronox, its employees and other stakeholders with definite confidence in respect of continuing with work in progress on early-phase construction at the Fairbreeze mine," it added.
Once in operation, Fairbreeze is expected to yield 475,000 tonnes/year of ilmenite and 60,000 tonne/year of zircon over a 12-15 year period.
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