Cascade Coal, which had its licences cancelled by the NSW government without compensation after a corruption inquiry involving former Labor ministers Eddie Obeid and Ian Macdonald, will seek to have the decision overturned in the High Court.
On Thursday, the mining company announced it had filed a writ seeking an order that the legislation passed by the NSW Parliament, allowing for the cancellation of two lucrative exploration licences, was invalid.
It follows a similar move by a former Cascade Coal director, Travers Duncan, and another company, NuCoal Resources, last month.
Special legislation to cancel the licences held by Cascade Coal and NuCoal Resources passed State Parliament in late January.
The legislation – which cancelled the licences and confirmed compensation would not be payable to the companies – was announced by then premier Barry O’Farrell after he received advice from the Independent Commission Against Corruption.
Last year, the ICAC found Mr Macdonald and Mr Obeid acted corruptly by agreeing to create a mining tenement over the Obeid family’s farm at Mount Penny in the Bylong Valley in 2008.
The decision delivered the Obeids $30 million with the promise of at least $30 million more.
Five Cascade investors were found by the commission to have acted corruptly by concealing the Obeids’ involvement in the mining tenement.
The ICAC also found Mr Macdonald acted corruptly in 2008 by granting a licence at Doyles Creek to a company then headed by former union official John Maitland. The company, Doyles Creek Mining, was later taken over by NuCoal Resources.
The commission subsequently advised the NSW government the licences were so “tainted by corruption” they should be cancelled.
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