Mining groups ENRC and Zamin set for UK High Court clash over Brazil mine
Kazakh miner ENRC, which decamped from the City amid a corruption probe, is to be dragged back to London to fight a $220million (£145million) court battle.
The case will go ahead after a judge set a timetable for a dispute pitting ENRC’s trio of oligarch owners against UK-based mining magnate Pramod Agarwal, owner of iron ore firm Zamin.
The twin mining empires are now on course for a bitter clash in the High Court early next year.
Mining empires: Kazakh miner ENRC and UK-based iron ore firm Zamin are now on course for a bitter clash
ENRC, which is still under investigation by the Serious Fraud Office, is accused of reneging on a promise to pay £145million of a £450million deal for control of Brazil’s Pedra de Ferro mining project.
Zamin says the payment was triggered both by the award of licences to transport coal and to build a port to ship iron ore abroad.
ENRC claims the port licence may have been obtained illegitimately and could be revoked due to a challenge by Brazilian environmental regulators.
The Kazakh firm is also counter-suing for the return of a £43million loan it made to Zamin as part of the deal.
Lawyers for Zamin are expected to argue that ENRC’s refusal to pay up is a delaying tactic motivated by poor finances.
ENRC also alleges that its opponent is in dire financial straits and has asked that Zamin be forced to set aside cash to pay legal costs.
‘The contracts are clear cut and we look forward to the court deciding as to the merits of our case,’ said a Zamin spokesman.
ENRC did not comment.