Gold Fields would probably appeal against an Australian court’s finding that the award of some mining areas to its St Ives unit was invalid, it said yesterday. A group of indigenous people brought a claim for the land, and a Federal Court decision on July 3 had accepted the Ngadju people’s submission that the grant of the mining tenements was invalid as it was inconsistent with the group’s native-title rights, Gold Fields said. The parties had to start a process of agreeing to the terms of the claim, which could take months, the company said. Gold Fields bought St Ives in 2001, operates four underground mines there and owns an area covering 99 594ha, according to its website. The Ngadju people claimed that 210 of the 250 mining tenements were not valid because the Native Title Act of 1993 was not followed when the company acquired the assets and at other times. “Gold Fields is both surprised and disappointed by this finding, and remains strongly of the view that it has at all times complied with its obligations.” The company would probably appeal the decision, it said. The shares lost 7c to R40.23 on the JSE yesterday. – Bloomberg