Bula Ltd v Tara Mines Ltd (No. 2)

JurisdictionIreland
Judgment Date01 January 1988
Date01 January 1988
Docket Number[1986 No. 10898P]
CourtHigh Court
(H.C.)
Bula Ltd
and
Tara Mines Ltd. (No. 2)

Action for unlawful interference with economic interests - Mandatory interlocutory injunction sought - Whether grant of such relief dependent on plaintiff's prospects of success at trial of action - Whether terms of injunction sought certain enough to enable court to ensure compliance with its order - Whether grant of relief would prejudge one of the issues in the case.

The first plaintiff and the first defendant owned adjoining orebodies in Nevinstown, County Meath. The first defendant's orebody was held under a State mining lease granted in 1975 and made with amongst other persons the defendant Minister's predecessor-in-title. One of the provisions of that lease, clause f., provided that the lessee, the first defendant, undertook to co-operate with the lessor so as to ensure that the minerals thereby demised and any privately owned minerals in Nevinstown would be exploited in the most efficient and most economical manner with consequent benefit to all concerned and also provided that the lessee undertook to act reasonably in all negotiations to achieve such end. The lease further provided that should any dispute arise between the lessor and lessee concerning, inter alia, clause f. or as to any action taken by a party to the lease in purported execution of or compliance with clause f., the dispute was to be referred to artibration in the manner therein provided. The defendant Minister's predecessor-in-title had also in 1975 entered into an agreement with the first plaintiff whereby it was agreed, amongst other things, that the parties thereto would procure that the first plaintiff would actively proceed to develop and exploit its mine "in as expeditious a business manner as is possible . . ." The first plaintiff's orebody had not as yet been exploited and the plaintiffs commenced these proceedings against the defendants claiming damages for, inter alia, inflicting economic loss and damage on them by unlawful means, the plaintiffs claiming that it was the strategy of the first defendant to acquire the first plaintiff's orebody at a gross under-value through a variety of tactics including, it was alleged, the refusal or failure of the first defendant to negotiate as required by clause f. of the State mining lease and also by procuring a breach by the defendant Minister of his obligations owed to the first plaintiff under the 1975 agreement. Those proceedings also included claims for relief by way of...

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