MANILA, Philippines – Publicly listed mining firm Atok-Big Wedge Co. Inc. has sued Norwegian-listed Intex Resources AS for allegedly reneging on its deal regarding the sale of 100 percent of the latter’s 9,720-hectare Mindoro nickel project to Atok.

In its complaint for specific performance filed before the Regional Trial Court of Makati, Atok has asked the court to compel Intex to honor the agreement to sell 100 percent of Intex Resources AS, a private Norwegian company owned by Intex, for $10 million in cash and 300 million new Atok shares.

Intex Resources AS owns 100 percent of the nickel mining project, located in the island of Mindoro, and covered by a minerals production sharing agreement (MPSA) between the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and Aglubang Mining Corp. and three other MPSAs covering smaller portions of the project area.

Atok maintained that as of Oct. 15, 2010, Intex CEO Erlend Grimstad and Atok chairman Roberto Ongpin had agreed on the sale of 100 percent of the mining project for a consideration composed of $10 million in cash and 300 million new Atok shares, which was then valued at around $450 million.

However, when Atok officials said that when they and Intex were about to document the deal, Intex refused to sign. Instead, Grimstad asked that Atok wait for the results of the shareholders meeting of Intex scheduled on Nov. 5, 2010.

In good faith, Atok said it waited for the results of the meeting. However, up until the close of business hours on Nov. 8, Intex or Grimstad have not yet responded to Atok’s follow-ups on the results of the meeting, the officials added.

Thus, to protect its interest, Atok decided to file a civil case for specific performance against Intex before the Makati courts, they emphasized.

In its complaint, Atok said the real reason why Intex unilaterally withdrew from its already binding agreement is the receipt of a “better offer”, citing news reports that Intex received a $2-billion offer from a global private pension fund to finance its nickel project in Mindoro.