OPINION OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL DATED 20 FEBRUARY 1990
“Re:Tara Mines Ltd.
1.Your advice is sought in a minute dated 19 February 1990 from the Secretary of the Department of Energy. The Secretary seeks to be advised whether the terms of clause 6.06/6.07 of the shareholder’s agreement and covenant L in the State mining lease preclude him from releasing a copy of a report drawn up by NCB Corporate Finance Ltd. to the Dail Public Accounts Committee.
2.The relevant clause and covenant entitled the Minister to obtain certain information from Tara Mines Limited and to have access to their books, property and records, subject, however, to an obligation to treat as confidential any material so obtained.
3.I am informed that in the preparation of the NCB report the clause and covenant were invoked so as to obtain information and access to books and records. To the extent that the NCB report contains such information obtained through the use of the clause and covenant its publication to any person other that the Minister or officers of his Department would amount to a breach of contract and to a breach of the covenant in the lease. If the Secretary were to release such information he would expose his Minister to an action for damages in the event that the Company suffered any loss or injury as a result.
20 February 1990”
“I agree the Minister and through him, the State would be liable in damages for loss or injury sustained as a result of such a breach of contract or covenant.”
Signed Attorney General
20 February 1990