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westrip takes swipe at greenland

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    Westrip takes swipe at Greenland

    KATE EMERY, The West Australian
    October 26, 2009, 6:11 am

    A dispute between Greenland Minerals & Energy and its joint venture partner has stepped up after the London-based Westrip accused the junior explorer of downplaying its exposure to a complex UK legal battle over the ownership of a rare earths project

    In a letter sent to the Australian Securities Exchange, a copy of which has been obtained by _The West Australian _, Westrip director Dabinder Powar said Greenland Minerals had misrepresented its involvement in the dispute being played out in London's High Court.

    In particular, Mr Powar argued, Greenland Minerals had "not presented a clear picture to the market" about the size of the bill it could be facing for bankrolling shareholder action against Westrip.

    But Greenland Minerals managing director Rod McIllree strongly rejected the claims.

    "The company cannot understand Westrip's position on damages when it is in fact (Greenland Minerals) that is protecting Westrip's assets for it," he told _The West Australian. _

    "There seems to be significant confusion as to the ownership of the JV and the company would again just like to reiterate that the JV is not in question. The question is about the 39 per cent that the company does not own."

    Greenland Minerals and Westrip have been involved in a legal dispute for months over ownership of the Kvanefjeld rare earths and uranium project in Greenland.

    At the heart of the dispute is the question of whether a 39 per cent stake in the project is held by Westrip or private company Rimbal, the personal vehicle of Westrip director and WA geologist Greg Barnes. Greenland Minerals owns the remaining 61 per cent of the project.

    The UK legal action was launched by a handful of Westrip minority shareholders against Westrip directors, claiming they had breached their duty to shareholders by trying to vend the project into another company.

    Greenland Minerals has agreed to indemnify the shareholders for costs and damages because it wants the identity of its joint venture partner clarified. However, it does not expect any substantial damages to arise.

    A court ruling, handed down just over a week ago, ruled an injunction over mining licences would remain only if the minority Westrip shareholders who Greenland Minerals was funding would cover Westrip's costs.
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