WARSAW, April 3 (Reuters) – Australia’s Prairie Mining said it filed a lawsuit in a Warsaw civil court on Friday against the Polish environment ministry, seeking an extension to the company’s exclusive rights to a mining project in the country.
The news sent the miner’s shares plunging 30 percent in London and 20 percent in Warsaw. Prairie Mining secured in 2015 the exclusive right to apply for a mining concession for the Jan Karski mine in southeast Poland and had until April 2, 2018 to file its application.
The company said in a statement on Tuesday that it had not been able to apply for the concession because it first needs to obtain an environmental permit from local authorities, which it said has been delayed.
As a result it said it asked the ministry in December to sign a mining usufruct agreement on the project, “which precludes any other parties being granted any licence over all or part of the Jan Karski concessions”.
The ministry was required by law to have responded to the request within three months but had failed to do so, Prairie said in a statement.