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Pathfinder Minerals Wins Lawsuit Over Mozambique Subsidiary

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Oct. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Pathfinder Minerals Plc won a London court ruling in a dispute with a former African partner over ownership of its Mozambique mining business. Its shares more than doubled.

Pathfinder had legally acquired the shares in the Mozambique subsidiary from its local partners, Judge Richard Field said in a ruling today. He also agreed to block the former partner from interfering with the subsidiary.

Pathfinder is embroiled in a legal battle with General Jacinto Soares Veloso, a former director at the company, in the U.K. and Mozambique over the subsidiary, which has mining rights in the southeast African country.

“I very much hope that the courts and government of Mozambique will now acknowledge the wrongs which have been committed and facilitate the resumption of project development without any further delay,” Pathfinder Chief Executive Officer Nick Trew said in an e-mailed statement.

Pathfinder broke Mozambique law by going to British courts, Veloso said in a statement from his spokesman, Damien McCrystal.

Veloso and his group “are confident that while it is likely to take several years for this case to be finally resolved, they will be successful in defending their rights of ownership under Mozambique law,” according to the statement.

A Pathfinder unit won two 25-year mining concessions on 32,000 hectares of land along Mozambique’s coast. The area contains heavy minerals including ilmenite, rutile and zircon, the company has said.

Pathfinder asked that its shares be suspended from trading on London’s Alternative Investment Market today until the judge ruled, it said in a statement this morning. Trading resumed after the verdict and Pathfinder ended the day at 1.875 pence, up 114 percent to its highest since Nov. 11, 2011.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kit Chellel in London at cchellel@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net

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