The Court of Appeals in Manila has denied a reconsideration attempt by Redmont Consolidated Mines to revoke the registration of eight companies which it claims should be disqualified from engaging in mining activities. Redmont argues the affiliates and subsidiaries are not Philippine nationals and therefore should not be able to carry out mining exploration or operations.
MBMI Resources has welcomed the Appeals Court decision to deny the Redmont motion to be heard, as it is currently before the Supreme Court and the act of suing before multiple tribunals is prohibited under Philippine law (known as forum shopping).
In 2008, Redmont filed a complaint with the Compliance and Enforcement Division of the Philippines’ Security and Exchange Commission (SEC-CED) to revoke the registration of Narra Nickel Mining and Development, Tesoro Mining and Development, McArthur Mining, Sara Marie Mining, Patricia Louise Mining and Development Corporation, Madridejos Mining Corporation, Bethlehem Nickel Corporation and San Juanico Nickel Corporation.
Redmont argued that these corporations violated constitutional and statutory restrictions on foreign ownership of corporations engaged in the exploitation, development and utilization of natural resources.
In 2009, the SEC-CED ruled that all Respondent Corporations were Philippine nationals as defined under Section 3 of the Foreign Investments Act of 1991, prompting Redmont to appeal the decision. In 2010, the case against Narra Nickel Mining, Tesoro Mining and McArthur Mining was dismissed as Redmont was charged with forum shopping. However, the case against the remaining five companies was remanded for more information and further proceedings.
These companies filed an appeal which was upheld in 2012, with the Court of Appeals dismissing the case due to Redmont’s forum shopping. Redmont’s original SEC-CED case was therefore denied, and the company filed a Motion for Reconsideration.
In its decision the Court of Appeals denied Redmont’s motion on the reasoning that the SEC En Banc erred when it did not order the dismissal of the cases filed by Redmont against all the Respondent Corporations. Redmont has fifteen days from receipt of the decision to appeal to the Supreme Court of the Philippines.
Although the Court of Appeals did not rule upon the issue of the remanded corporations’ nationality, MBMI believes that its arguments on this matter are strong and should be ultimately upheld.