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Queensland Judgments

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Authorised Reports & Unreported Judgments
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Mineralogy Pty Ltd v BGP Geoexplorer Pte Ltd  
Unreported Citation: [2018] QCA 256
EDITOR'S NOTE

In this decision, the Court of Appeal considered whether the payment of a judgment debt into a trust account pursuant to an undertaking, and pending the determination of an appeal from the judgment, caused post-judgment interest to cease accruing. The Court held that it did not.

Gotterson and McMurdo JJA and Henry J

8 October 2018

On 9 October 2017, Jackson J ordered that Mineralogy Pty Ltd (“Mineralogy”) pay BGP Geoexplorer Pte Ltd (“BGP”) the sum of US$17,629,673.68: [2017] QSC 219. Mineralogy appealed. [3]. Before the hearing of the appeal, Mineralogy applied for a stay of the judgment. [5]. Fraser JA refused the application because of an undertaking given by BGP and its solicitors that all monies recovered from Mineralogy under the judgment would be held on trust in an interest-bearing account in an Australian bank. [6]. That payment was subsequently made. [8]-[11].

On 31 July 2018, the Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal: [2018] QCA 174. An issue subsequently arose as to whether or not the post-judgment interest Mineralogy was obliged to pay on the judgment sum ceased accruing from the making of the payment in accordance with the undertaking. [4]. Jackson J held that it did not: [2018] QSC 42. His Honour concluded, by reason of the circumstances of the payment, it had not had the effect that the judgment sum was no longer payable. [17]. He concluded that post-judgment interest had accrued and continued to accrue from the date of judgment on the amount ordered. [17]. Mineralogy appealed. [4].

Henry J (with whom Gotterson and McMurdo JJA agreed) commenced by noting that the order requiring payment by Mineralogy to BGP was a “money order” within the meaning of that term in the Civil Proceedings Act 2011 (“the Act”). [18]. He noted that s 59(2) of the Act provides that “[i]nterest is payable from the date of a money order on the money order debt unless the court otherwise orders”. [19]. He also observed that “money order debt” is defined to mean “the amount of money payable under a money order”. [21].

His Honour held that pursuant to these provisions, interest must cease accruing when there is no longer “any amount of money payable under a money order”. [22]. He held that money will no longer be payable on a money order debt when the order for the payment of money has been satisfied. [22]. The determinative question for present purposes was whether the payment pursuant to the undertaking satisfied the court’s money order. [25]. His Honour answered the question in the negative. [25]. He noted that the payment was not made or accepted for the purpose of it being applied in satisfaction of the court’s money order. [26]. Furthermore, while the money order required an unconditional payment, the payment made pursuant to the undertaking did not have that character. [27], [32].

In the result, the appeal was dismissed. [37].

M J Hafeez-Baig