The judgment handed down by Judge Ben du Plessis serves as a direction-giving ruling in terms of protecting property rights, the farming body's president Johannes Möller said.
"Agri SA's intention with this test case was to prove (the) expropriation of mineral rights... would oblige the state to pay compensation. This ruling confirms the fundamental principle in Section 25 of the constitution, namely that property cannot be expropriated without compensation."
Du Plessis found that "for the reasons stated the objects of the MPRDA could not be achieved without depriving mineral rights holders of their property and without vesting in the state similar rights. While not expressly stated, expropriation was one of the purposes of the MPRDA."
Ahead of the ruling, Agri SA had asked those who suffered financial loss to lodge claims by April 30. Agri SA had compiled a guideline for instituting claims for compensation, which was forwarded to all provincial agricultural unions affiliated with the organisation.