South African court rules $89 million stake in iron ore mine wrongly awarded

A South African court has ruled that the Department of Mineral Resources wrongly awarded prospecting rights to the Sishen iron ore mine to Imperial Crown Trading 289 (ICT).

The decision is a victory for South Africa's Kumba Iron Ore, which is 64% held by Anglo American, and also squelches a persistent impression that the deal was tainted by corruption.

It effectively means that a 21.4% stake in the country's largest iron ore mine will stay with Kumba rather than go to  ICT. The stake was previously held by Indian iron ore giant ArcelorMittal.

Kumba and  ArcelorMittal asked the High Court back in August to overturn the award of prospecting rights for the Sishen mine to ICT, whose owners include Jagdish Parekh, a business partner of Duduzane Zuma, South African President Jacob Zuma's son.

Kumba said it was the only party eligible for the rights to the mine. The stake is valued at about $89 million.