Wednesday, 27 February 2013 14:15
A Perth court has confirmed Wright Prospecting's full control over the large Rhodes Ridge iron ore project in Western Australia's Pilbara after a challenge by Gina Rinehart's Hancock Prospecting.
A 2010 court order forced Hancock to relinquish its 25 per cent per cent stake in the project, increasing Wright's interest to 50 per cent and honouring an agreement between Ms Rinehart's father Lang Hancock and his business partner Peter Wright in 1984 that involved the carve-up of their various mining assets.
An appeal by Hancock was dismissed in October last year but the company contested certain court orders.
On Wednesday, Supreme Court of WA judges Carmel McLure, Rene Le Miere and David Newnes dismissed Hancock's appeal against the orders.
They said Wright was entitled to sole control of the asset, and Hancock was obliged to do all things necessary - including providing documentation and assistance in seeking ministerial consent or the like - to enable Wright to have full control.
Hancock was also ordered to pay Wright's court costs.
Hancock may still decide to pursue the matter in the High Court.
Rio Tinto owns the other half of the Rhodes Ridge project, situated east of the mining giant's West Angelas operations and south of its Hope Downs joint venture with Hancock.
Hancock and Wright remain embroiled in another court stoush over three of the six Hope Downs iron ore tenements.
Wright seeks half of Hancock's 50 per cent stake, considering it was jointly discovered by Lang Hancock and Peter Wright.
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