NT faces court clash with BHP

Territory accused of damaging trio of miners' ability to attract investors.

The Northern Territory government faces a looming court battle with BHP Billiton (BHP) and two other companies over its surprise June decision to impose a ban on seabed mining in the Gulf of Carpentaria, according to The Australian.

One of the affected companies, listed junior Perth miner Northern Manganese, has filed a claim with the NT government that The Australian reported could amount to more than $1 billion in compensation.

The decision undermined offshore exploration licences held by BHP, Northern Manganese (GOT) and an unlisted Brisbane-based company, Yukida Resurces.

Yukida has said it is seeking compensation from the NT government and a director with the company said the territory is sending a damaging message to foreign investors.

“The haphazard revoking of granted exploration and mining tenure presents an issue of sovereign risk for the resource sector and has broader ramifications for the mining industry and its ability to attract incoming investment,” the director, Nathan Cammerman, told The Australian.

“The NT government states that it is open for business. From our first-hand experience this is questionable.”

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