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The potential to reopen Barberton’s Lily and Barbrook gold mines is really looking positive now that owner Vantage Goldfields Ltd has accepted to sell 100% of its shares and claims in its South African subsidiary to a Level 1 BB-BEE company.

In what Vantage Goldfields Ltd describes as a vote of confidence for the distressed Barberton mining industry, Real Win Investments (RWI) will become the new owners of the Lily and Barbrook mines.

While the agreement was signed on 12 March 2019, RWI is now in a position to move forward with the acquisition of Vantage Goldfields SA (VGSA).

“We have been holding back on this announcement for many months but we are now pleased to introduce the new investor which will take over the operations. After many months of unfortunate delays, the business rescue process can now be completed and the mines re-opened,” says CEO of VGSA Mike McChesney.

Learn more: Lily’s other potential contender, what went wrong

The transaction when implemented is likely to make a significant impact on the Barberton mining community because RWI, a Level 1 BB-BEE company, has obtained funding (subject to conditions), is experienced and has the expertise to re-open the mines.

Founding shareholders of the company are Pius Mokgokong and Zandile Mdanda.

RWI has had extensive engagements with the joint Business Rescue Practitioners and will settle creditors in accordance with the adopted business rescue plans.

Commenting on their plans for the reopening of the Lily and Barbrook mines, CEO Zandile Mdanda says, “RWI has been engaging with the Business Rescue Practitioners over recent months regarding progress on the acquisition of VGSA. Because of circumstances outside of our control we were severely constrained in taking the transaction forward.”

“We identified the Lily and Barbrook mines as an excellent investment opportunity because the mines have amongst other things significant ore reserves. RWI has the expertise required to revive one of South Africa’s most historical and richest mining regions.”

Proof of funding has been provided to the Business Rescue Practitioners to enable the business rescue process to be concluded.

RWI’s business model provides for extensive investment to restore the operations and provide sustainability.

“Our team has completed their preliminary due diligence and are satisfied with the results thus far,” says Mdanda.

A full due-diligence exercise will now be completed by independent mining consultants. Once this is successfully completed, RWI will begin the exciting process of re-opening these vitally important mines.

Learn more: Remembering what happened at Lily