The Solomon Islands Court of Appeal has ruled against Axiom Mining in the civil appeal case brought by Sumitomo Metal Mining (SMM) Solomon Islands Limited over the Isabel Nickel Project.
The protracted battle with Sumimoto for control of the nickel deposit in Isabel Province saw the court revoke Axiom’s Prospecting License, while also rejecting Sumimoto’s appeal in which the company argued that its 2011 license to develop the project was unjustly cancelled.
“The Court of Appeal held that due to errors made by the Commissioner of the Lands, the land where the Isabel nickel deposit is located remains customary land,” Axiom said in a statement to the ASX.
“Consequently, the Land Register is to be rectified to remove the registration of the perpetual estate and as such, Axiom KB’s lease and prospecting license are invalid.”
Axiom CEO, Mr Ryan Mount, said despite the unfavourable judgment, the company remained optimistic and would continue to invest in the mineral-rich Solomon Islands.
“Axiom has a strong relationship with landowners in Isabel and together we have started the process of reapplying to develop the project,” Mr Mount said.