Minerals and Petroleum

Minister of Mineral Resources and Others v Mawetse (SA) Mining Corporation (Pty) Ltd

  • The appeal dealt with the setting aside of a decision rejecting an application for a prospecting right by Mawetse.
  • The SCA confirmed the reasoning of the High Court by holding that Dilokong, the fifth applicant, no longer had a valid prospecting right and thus such did not constitute a bar to Mawetse’s application on the basis that Dilokong had failed to comply with the suspensive conditions of BEE attached to the granting of such a prospecting right, coupled with the unreasonable delay in exercising the right mean it lapsed.
  • The SCA  held that BEE is an important objective of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act 28 of 2002 and the Mining Charter and such a failure the had the effect of essentially barring Dilokong from implementing its right to prospect. The court confirmed that in any event had lapsed due to the passing of time in terms of section 56(a) of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act.
  • The SCA went on to reject the reasoning of Meepo v Kotze by holding that the granting of a prospecting right is not contractual in nature but that it is rather a unilateral administrative act by the Minister under the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act. The appeal was therefore dismissed.

Snyders NO v Louistef (Pty) Ltd and Others

  • The case dealt with the selling of a licence to retail petroleum products by the respondent on a site which was owned by the applicant. The applicant after the termination of the lease agreement requested the return of the licence but the respondent refused and instead sold it. The applicant claims it could not be validly sold as it did not constitute a res and requested and order declaring the sale to be null and void.
  • The court held the licence remains the physical property of the Department of Minerals and Energy and could be equated to that of a liquor licence and could not be sold and thus the sale agreement was therefore null and void.

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