October 4, 2013 (Page 55)
THE Accra Fast Track High Court has awarded a $730,252.30 judgement against Noble Gold Bibiani Limited, an Australian mining company, for breach of contract.
It was also ordered to pay GH¢50,000 in cost for receiving, processing and selling gold tailings supplied to it by the plaintiff, Riasand Ventures Limited, a private company.
The company is expected to pay interest on the amount with effect from June 3, 2013 till date of final payment. Interest so far accrued on the amount is $635,002.
In a summary judgement, the court, presided over by Mr Justice N. M. C. Abodakpi, said it was satisfied that the plaintiff met its contractual obligations with the mining company and was, therefore, entitled to the claims.
“The plaintiff has performed its part of the bargain but the defendant has failed to discharge its obligations, and the reasons assigned are untenable. The defendant on the evidence had received the gold tailings, processed and got gold from it and must satisfy its just debt that it owes the plaintiff,” the court held.
According to the court, the defendant had failed to show cause why summary judgement should not be entered against it.
“On the issue of admission of the debt, a party has no obligation to lead further evidence in proof of a matter or a material fact that has been admitted as true by its adversary,” the court held in reference to admission by the mining company in some documents that it owed the plaintiff.
“The rule of evidence as provided in Section 25 and 26 of the Evidence Act, NRCD 323, is that the content of a written document made by a party are presumed conclusively to be true against him/it until the contrary is proved,” the court stated and maintained that the defendant had failed to lead evidence contrary to the position of the Evidence Act.
Premised on that, the court was of the opinion that, “this is a proper case in which final judgement must be entered in favour of plaintiff and against the defendant.”
Background to the case
In an amended statement of claim dated September 13, 2013, the plaintiff said in February 2013, it entered into an agreement with the defendant for the supply of gold tailings and the haulage of same to the defendant’s destination, for the purpose of defendant extracting gold from the tailings as part of the defendant’s operations.
On September 9, 2013 the plaintiff caused to be issued a writ of summons accompanied by a statement of claim against defendant for failing to pay for the supply of the tailings and other incidental costs.
Consequently, a motion for summary judgement was issued by the plaintiff on September 13, 2013 on the grounds that the defendant had no defence to put up because it had admitted liability and for that reason, it would serve no useful purpose in having a full trial.
“That where it is clear that a defendant has no defence to a claim this honourable court has jurisdiction to grant an application for summary judgement to avoid delays in the prosecution of cases for which reason we pray that judgement be given in respect of the aforesaid reliefs endorsed on the amended writ of summons,” the motion for summary judgement indicated.
However, the defendants denied any liability and argued that there should be a full trial because it had a good defence to put up.
But the court, after taking evidence from the plaintiff and studying the necessary documents in the case, came to the conclusion that the mining company was liable.