Cadia Case Analysis

1695 words 7 pages

Cadia Holdings Pty Ltd v State of New South Wales (2010) 242 CLR 195
Word Count: 1,496

Introduction- Factual Background

Cadia Holdings Pty Ltd and Newcrest Operations Ltd (NOL) owned land in New South Wales, granted to them by the State of New South Wales under the Mining Act 1992 (NSW). From July 1998 to March 2008, Cadia conducted mining operations in which it recovered minerals including copper and gold, and paid royalties to the Minister pursuant to the Mining Act 1992 (NSW). The Minister referred to the Case of Mines[1], claiming that the mine owned by Cadia was a “royal mine” containing gold that belonged to the Crown prerogative, and as a consequence the copper was also the property of the Crown. Cadia
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There was no mention of value or quantity of copper or gold. The strong presumption would be that it is a copper mine due to its substantial nature as a copper mine. This is the determinative test, rightly decided by the court.

Legislations were passed by New South Wales to grant ownership of copper minerals to give effects to private landowners to mine in their land

It conforms to the policy intended by the Crown namely, to encourage private mining’s on land, the Mining on Private Lands 1893 and 1894 Acts were passed to allow private land owners to work on their mines for other minerals save for gold and silver or unless otherwise expressly prohibited. Though the 1893 and 1894 Acts were subsequently repealed, section 3 was not. This section showed the intention of the Crown to permit the mining of other minerals except gold and silver. The rights provided by the said Acts were effective in granting those mining rights at that time, though it was subsequently repealed.

Alternatively, the Mining Act 1992 (NSW) 'abrogates any prerogative right to copper in the land.'[12] The Act binds the Crown, preventing the Crown to mine for a mineral without an authority and any prerogative right to enter land and extract gold.

The respondent’s argument was based on The Case of Mines[13] as authority. For the proposition that mines which contain gold or silver even if intermingled, can be characterised as royal mines and as such belonged