Kyanite Appeal Request Refused

Published 4:33 pm Thursday, February 21, 2013

A Writ Panel of the Supreme Court of Virginia “refused” a request for appeal by The Disthene Group, Incorporated, which includes Kyanite Mining Corporation, Blue Rock Resources LLC, and the Cavalier Hotel.

According to the Supreme Court of Virginia's website, the request for appeal was one of 78 “docketed cases in which petitions for appeal” would be considered by the February 2013 Writ Panel.

Case information on the SCV website lists the appellant as Disthene Group, Inc., The; and, the appellee as Colgate, Curtis Dixon; Newcomb, Sharon Marie; Colgate, Marion J. “Boyd”, Sr., Peaceful Valley Limited Partnership.

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A review of the case data on the website offers the above information and notes the Brief in Opposition was received on December 26, 2012. Additionally, the data includes the Disposition Result as “Refused,” with a disposition date of “02-15-2013.”

The petition for appeal was prompted by the ruling of Fairfax Circuit Court Judge Jane Marum Roush, judge designate for Colgate, et al. v. The Disthene Group, Incorporated, a civil case heard in late spring 2012 in the Circuit Court of Buckingham County.

Much of the trial pivoted on minority shareholder oppression and the business judgment rule, with both sides presenting their respective arguments for or against the dissolution.

Curtis Dixon Colgate, Sharon Marie Newcomb, and Marion J. Colgate, Sr., who initiated the lawsuit, sought the dissolution of the company and the distribution of its assets on a pro-rata basis to all the shareholders.

According to court documents filed with Buckingham Circuit Court, Curtis Dixon Colgate and Sharon Marie Newcomb are the children of the late Jeanne Dixon Colgate, the sister of Gene Dixon, Jr., and the daughter of the late Gene Dixon, Sr. and Mallie M. Dixon. Marion J. “Boyd” Colgate, Sr. is the widower of Jeanne.

On August 30, several months after the lengthy courtroom trial proceedings, Judge Roush advised that the Court would enter an order granting the plaintiffs' request that The Disthene Group, Incorporated be dissolved.

On the heels of her Letter Opinion, Judge Roush entered a Court Decree on September 6, ordering the dissolution of The Disthene Group, Inc. pursuant Virginia Code Section 13.1-749.

In the decree, Roush appointed Charles Goldstein as receiver “to wind up and liquidate the business and affairs of Disthene.”

Subsequently, responding to the judge's ruling calling for the dissolution, lawyers for Disthene began the appeal process with the initial Notice of Appeal to the Supreme Court of Virginia.

Kyanite Mining

For the Buckingham Community, Kyanite Mining, the world's oldest and largest producer of the industrial minerals kyanite and mullite, is more than a multi-million dollar business literally built on rock. For decades, it has long been one of the county's largest private employers.

Kyanite's role in this community was highlighted in a resolution unanimously adopted by the Buckingham County Board of Supervisors at its September 2012 meeting.

That resolution, which recognized and expressed appreciation to Kyanite Mining and the Dixon family, described the mining operation as a “long-standing entity in the County of Buckingham, operating, growing and prospering under the leadership of the Dixon family.”

Continuing, the resolution offered, “For all the years that Kyanite has operated in the County, it has been a good corporate citizen and an important part of the County.”

Along with acknowledging the “good jobs and tax revenue,” provided by the company, the resolution cited, “Kyanite and the Dixon family have always been major supporters of the county's community organizations, such as the fire departments, the rescue squad, the civic organizations, and recreational and cultural programs.”

The resolution paid tribute to Kyanite and the Dixon family for always striving “to improve the quality of life for the citizens of Buckingham County.”

Additionally, the resolution offered, “Now therefore be it resolved that the Board of Supervisors for Buckingham County formally expresses its appreciation to Kyanite Mining and the Dixon family for its long-standing support of the County, its community organizations and its citizens.”

Responding to the Supreme Court's refusal to hear the appeal, Guy Dixon, who like his father, grandfather, and great grandfather has provided a leadership role for Kyanite Mining, and is serving as its president, offered, “Kyanite Mining Corporation is a great company-made so by the sweat, ingenuity and sheer grit of generations of hard working individuals who have devoted their lives to it over the last 75 years.”

He continued, “And while the future direction of the company is no longer up to us, it is our great hope that it will continue, for years to come, to do exactly what it has done for so long-reliably supply the global economy with the highest quality kyanite products available anywhere in the world.” Dixon added, “And in so doing, provide good, steady and meaningful employment for a large number of people in Southside.”

He shared, “As for the Dixon family, it is our distinct honor and privilege to be a part of this community, and we will forever be in debt to the men and women of the greater 'kyanite family' that have helped build Kyanite Mining Corporation up from nothing to what it is today.”

Dixon concluded, “We take an immense amount of pride in what we have accomplished together, and no one will ever be able to diminish that pride or distort those accomplishments.”