The matter dealt with an appeal against the decision of the High Court that ordered the cancellation of a mining licence and its return to the first respondent. The background to the case was that Minster of Mines had granted a large-scale mining licence to the local people within the Kasempa community who immediately took possession of the mine. The first respondent alleged that the minister was wrong to have granted the licence, while its application over the same mine was still pending before him. The first respondent applied to the High Court for judicial review and sought a reversal of the minister’s decision. The High Court reversed the minister’s decision by cancelling the new licence and returning it to the appellant.
The Court of Appeal considered whether the first respondent’s prospecting licence was valid at the time of its subsequent application for a large-scale mining licence. The court also considered which legislation was applicable to the first respondent at the time of its application.
The court found that the first respondent’s prospecting licence had expired and there was no renewal. The court found further that the act that was applicable was the amended Mines and Minerals Development Act No. 11 of 2015. It held that the first respondent did not comply with the provisions of the act to seek recourse from the tribunal within 30 days.
Accordingly, the court concluded that the High Court should not have entertained this matter in the first place and upheld the appeal.