Cadia Case Analysis Essay

1726 Words Sep 1st, 2012 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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That precedent was set back in 1568 when Thomas Percy, the 7th Earl of Northumberland, was taken to court by Elizabeth, the Queen of England. The Queen needed gold and silver to prepare for the long-expected conflict with Spain. A jury of Percy's peers found that the gold on his land wasn't really his. In “The Case of Mines[8]”, the jury concluded, “that by the law of all mines of gold and silver within the realm, whether they be in the lands of the Queen, or of subjects, belong to the Queen by prerogative, with liberty to dig and carry away the ores thereof, and with other such incidents thereto as are necessary to be used for the getting of the ore.”[9] Under pressured circumstances, it proves that whether it's a monarch, a Parliament, or a Congress, the State is always in pursuit of money with which to make war. Not much has changed.

The obiter dicta statement made by Kay LJ in the case of Attorney-General v Morgan[10] where the value of gold and copper in a mine were nearly the same 'benefit of the doubt should be given to the owner of the mine.'[11] If this contention is persuasive and accepted by the Court, then the outcome of the decision would have been different. The value of the gold extracted greatly exceeds the value of the copper despite the fact that the copper has a higher quantity.

However, the Court has correctly applied the legislation, namely section 3 of the Royal Mines Act 1688 (Imp). Section 3

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