Hustadkalk won dispute in the Supreme Court

| Insight

On 11th September 2018, the Norwegian Supreme Court ruled in a case between Hustadkalk and Visnes Landowner Association. Hustadkalk successfully claimed that it as part of its limestone extraction in the municipality of Eide was entitled to also exploit eclogite in the Visnes deposit. The case concerned contract interpretation, mineral law principles, basic property law and human rights provisions regarding protection of property (ECHR P1-1).

Simonsen Vogt Wiig and partner Frithjof Herlofsen represented Hustadkalk.

Based on a contract from 1906, Hustadkalk acquired the right to extract «all limestone or marble deposits» in Blåberget at Visnes. To exploit this deposit, it is necessary to take out overburden containing eclogite rock. The eclogite has since 2002 been sold as a by-product. Landowner interests claimed that the eclogite belonged to them. Supported by the Norwegian Farmers’ Association, the Norwegian Forest Owners’ Association and Norskog, the landowners inter alia claimed that the judgment by the Court of Appeal was in defiance of industry practice, property law principles and human rights provisions regarding protection of property.

The Supreme Court held in favour of Hustadkalk, that Hustadkalk, without having to pay any kind of consideration to the landowners, is entitled to commercially exploit the eclogite, hereunder market and sell eclogite products.