Resolute Mining
Feature image credit: Wikimedia

The imminent finalisation of the sale of Vantage Goldfields and its assets, the Lily and Barbrook mines, to Level 1 black-owned and controlled organisation Siyakhula Sonke Empowerment Corporation, or SSC Group, will result in a new dawn for New Vantage Goldfields and all its stakeholders.

This follows the signing of a completion agreement on 31 October 2018, between the parties confirming the satisfaction of all the conditions precedents set out in the initial sale of shares agreement, except for the requirement of Ministerial consent in terms of section 11 of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act dealing with the transfer of majority control of the company being purchased – which is expected imminently.

The SSC Group has been advised by its attorneys that SSC Group has sufficient grounds to bring an application to request the court to remove the business rescue practitioner, Rob Devereux, who is overseeing the business rescue of Vantage Goldfields and its assets from his appointment.

SSC Group had previously requested Devereux to hand in his resignation as business rescue practitioner, citing that a complete breakdown of communication between Devereux, SSC executives and creditors, as well as the breakdown of trust, was not sustainable or in the parties’ best interest.

“Failing his resignation, we will have no option but to proceed with legal action, thereby joining the rest of the creditors in their actions against Devereux,” SSC Group CEO Fred Arendse says, adding that Devereux’s continued involvement will jeopardise the collective progress that all parties are trying to achieve.

Arendse further notes that Devereux had introduced SSC Group to supposed shareholders that placed a greater financial burden on the business rescue process and the SSC Group, instead of raising additional funding as agreed.

“Devereux also alleged to third parties that he questioned the SSC Group’s financial and technical abilities. “We take offense to his insinuations that we do not have the capacity to run companies or mines. His accusations are baseless and unfounded,” say Arendse.

“Our Chairman, Dr. Eric Lilford, is a mining engineer with over 30 years of corporate and operational experience. Our Deputy Chairman, Kgabo Moabela is the former managing executive of the world renowned and second biggest ore body, South Deep mine, and the remaining SSC Group senior management have over 155+ years of cumulative technical and management experience.

“In addition, since 2007, we have owned a 26% shareholding in a 55-year old contract mining company, Redpath Mining – which is one of the biggest contract mining and shaft companies in the country, with an international and good track record of shaft sinking, mine development and mining,” says Arendse.

“Furthermore SSC Group has been funding this transaction and Vantage Goldfields since they signed the transaction in November 2017 and has already spent in excess of R 23 million to date on the Vantage transaction and business,” says Arendse.