South African geologist Michael Saner has given Lynas Corporation until today to recognise his Malawi rare earth claim or face legal action.
Saner claims the Kangankunde tenements in Malawi, potentially worth billions and currently owned by Lynas, belong to him and he has orders from the High Court to prove it.
But Lynas claims the Malawi Government recognises it as “the registered legal owner” of the project.
According to The Sydney Morning Herald Saner claims Lynas flew him to Sydney in 2008 and offered him up to $US500,000 to drop his claim on the project.
He also claims Lynas was aware of a High Court ruling deeming him the holder of the tenements in 2008.
He says the company has copies of orders detailing his ownership.
According to Lynas Saner previously owned an exploration licence for the tenements but his claim expired.
The company said it bought the project in 2007 from a different party, not Saner, and acquired a mining licence after a series of Government approvals.
It says Saner’s claims are between him and the Malawi Government and the company is currently not a party to the dispute.
Lawyers acting on behalf of Saner claim Lynas’ ASX announcement last week advising investors about the Malawi dispute “appears to be misleading”.
Lynas has so far made no comment on the matter and says the argument is one between Saner and the Malawi Government.