Wednesday, 27 July 2011 8:44 AM

Sumitomo Challenge Solomon Islands Government and Axiom KB in High Court

Axiom KB Limited ("Axiom KB"), 80% owned Solomon Island subsidiary of Axiom Mining Limited ("Axiom") has been joined as a defendant in proceedings commenced under a certificate of urgency in the High Court of Solomon Islands on Thursday 21 July 2011 by SMM Solomon Limited, a subsidiary of Sumitomo of Japan ("SMM").

The proceedings have been stood over by the court until 18 August 2011. In the intervening period Axiom KB has given an undertaking to restrict its exploration activities on Isabel Island under its Prospecting Licence.

The proceedings have been commenced by the Claimants against a number of parties which include the Attorney General, the Minister for Mines, Energy and Rural Electrification, the Commissioner of Lands, the Registrar of Titles, Axiom KB, the Kolosori Trustee landowners and another company unrelated to Axiom KB.

The Board of Axiom and Axiom KB advises that it intends to vigorously defend the proceedings to protect its Prospecting Licence and confirms that they are confident of a successful outcome from the High Court when the facts have been properly presented.

Mr Ryan Mount, Axiom's CEO stated "Axiom KB will defend and protect the constitutional rights of our customary landowner partners as well as the commercial interests of Axiom and Axiom KB. It is unfortunate that Sumitomo sees fit to continue to frustrate and delay the development of this asset that can bring so much to a nation like the Solomon Islands".

Mr Mount further added "We are looking forward to our time in court to resolve this matter for Axiom KB, the government and the customary landowners of Kolosori and getting on with the job of developing a sustainable mine".