|CRI files opposition to preliminary injunction; claims second trip to court unnecessary|
|Written by Dee Holzel|
|Monday, March 26 2012 07:10|
LOVELOCK — Despite the fact a hearing has already been set in the matter, Coeur Rochester filed an opposition to Rye Patch Gold’s motion for preliminary injunction claiming a second hearing was unnecessary. The opposition was filed in the 6th Judicial District Court on Wednesday (March 21).
A dispute over mining claims led Coeur Rochester to seek a restraining order against Rye Patch Gold in December 2011. At that time, the court delegated each a parcel of property to work until the matter could be resolved at trial in November of this year. In the latest round, RPG has alleged Coeur Rochester is not behaving neighborly.
In early March RPG filed a motion for injunction accusing CRI of claim jumping, angle drilling, and improperly constructing barriers on public roads to keep RPG from working its claims. RPG has asked the court to issue the injunction to prevent these activities.
In their opposition to the motion, Coeur Rochester did not directly address the issues raised by RPG, but instead counter-argued there was no reason to have yet another hearing because there were no facts the court hadn’t already considered.
Additionally, CRI alleged Rye Patch would ultimately be unsuccessful in their injunction attempt because 1) they lack the discovery and/or possession necessary to hold valid claims, and 2) there could be no evidence of irreparable harm; therefore, no injunction.
The court would only move forward with the injunction if there was a likelihood of success by the moving party.
VALIDITY OF MINING CLAIMS: On the first point, that of the validity of the claims, Coeur argued Rye Patch would not be successful in the injunction because they would be unable to prove the validity of the mining claims currently in dispute.
Coeur Rochester does not deny they failed to pay the annual federal maintenance fees on the mineral rights that were due on or before August 31, 2011 for the mine site in Pershing County.
Rye Patch discovered the oversight in October 2011, claimed the mineral rights (which any person or corporation was then free to do), and staked their claims in November 2011.
Despite the oversight, Coeur alleged Rye Patch Gold holds no valid claims since they must prove either discovery on the property or possession.
Attorneys for CRI claim this as the “inherent and fatal weakness of RPG’s case.”
As they have before, CRI fell back on the argument of the possession; that is, they’ve been working the property for 25 years.
In making this argument, CRI utilized more than one-hundred years of Nevada mining law:
CRI also claimed they were authorized to possess the property by permits and authorizations issued under federal law to include:
Coeur noted the plan authorizes exploration and mining and, among other things, construction of roads, fences and gates and other structures on the mine site.
Rye Patch Gold has alleged Coeur’s construction was an attempt to prevent them from reaching their LH claims.
Coeur noted, “The Plan of Operations is unaffected by the status of mining claims on the property. It remains in effect as long as the operator is conducting the operations authorized by the Plan.
Additionally, Coeur alleged in the opposition to the injunction that Rye Patch Gold lacks the discovery necessary to hold valid claims.
Coeur alleged RPG used vague information obtained from Coeur itself and further alleged internal documents generated by RPG employees showed the company knew it was light on discovery and drilling would have to be conducted.
IRREPARABLE HARM: In order to successfully obtain the injunction, Rye Patch Gold would have to prove the injunction was essential to prevent irreparable harm.
In the motion for injunction, RPG representatives claim the removal of rock or drill samples from the disputed property would prevent them from exclusively having the information garnered from those samples.
Coeur downplayed the significance of this claim and noted that any removal of samples from the disputed property – by either side – was a mere matter of one company compensating the other.
THE BOND ISSUE: Should RPG ultimately be successful in obtaining the injunction, the court will require a bond be issued in an amount it determines adequate to cover costs or damages that may be incurred by Coeur Rochester – should CRI ultimately prevail at the November trial.
CRI argued in the opposition motion that RPG failed to recognize the amount that would be required to protect CRI.
CRI went on to note, “…this court must require RPG to post a security equal to the value of losses CRI will incur if it is enjoined from continuing its mining activities.”
CRI explained an injunction that prevented the company from crossing the disputed LH claims would encompass all of CRI’s current mining activities and access routes.