NuCoal still at war with NSW on Doyles Creek

NUCOAL Resources has lodged a writ of summons and statement of claim with the High Court of Australia that challenges the constitutional validity of the New South Wales Mining Amendment Act 2014 that stripped it of its Doyles Creek licence.

Lou Caruana

On August 14, legal representatives for NuCoal attended a directions hearing at the High Court where the parties were given various procedural directions and asked to prepare an agreed set of facts to file with the court.

The matter is listed for further directions in mid-September. NuCoal expects a court date will be set at this next hearing and is hopeful that the court date will be before the end of this calendar year, the company said.

Legal proceedings began over a judicial review of the findings made against NuCoal and contained in the December 2013 report prepared by the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC).

NuCoal filed its submissions as required on June 27, and ICAC was due to file its response on July 25 and it sought an extension which NuCoal opposed.

Before a decision could be made on ICAC’s extension, the NSW Supreme Court cited a precedent with Cascade Coal, which was unsuccessful in its judicial review application.

Based on the outcome of the Cascade Coal judgment, ICAC has now filed a motion seeking to have NuCoal’s judicial review application dismissed.

“NuCoal vigorously disagrees with ICAC’s motion and says there are significant factual and legal differences between its case and the Cascade Coal case,” it said.

“ICAC’s motion is scheduled to be heard on 27 August 2014. If NuCoal is successful in resisting the motion, it is hopeful that a hearing date will be set at that time, so that the proceedings will continue and NuCoal can present its case at trial.

“Shareholders are reminded, however, that the outcome of the judicial review will not affect the status of EL 7270 [Doyles Creek].”

NuCoal is also continuing to pursue claims on behalf of overseas based shareholders under various Free Trade Agreements to bring international action against the Australian government with a view to obtaining compensation for the decision by the NSW government to expropriate EL 7270 without payment of compensation.