Empowerment focused company Siyakhula Sonke Corporation (SSC) will acquire Vantage Goldfields SA as part of the strategy to rescue the Lily mine.This is according to trade union Solidarity which stated that SSC announced on 7 November in a letter to the creditors that they have acquired Vantage Goldfields SA’s shares in terms of a binding agreement. SSC commits itself to implementing the business rescue plan which has not been implemented since May 2016.

The business rescue plan could come to Lily mine’s rescue as it would be possible to make payments to creditors and workers, and job opportunities could be created. “SSC is the third company to make a bid. Hopefully, the third attempt will be successful.

Failed rescue attempts

Solidarity says that all role-players at Lily mine must come to the table to consider Lily mine’s future to once and for all bring an end to the long and protracted emotional chastening and financial attenuation of the Lily miners, their families, the communities and creditors.

Every transaction required to financially rescue the mine over the past 18 months has failed. According to Solidarity’s Mining Industry Deputy General Secretary, Connie Prinsloo, the Deputy Minister of Mineral Resources, Godfrey Oliphant, made an announcement in the media that the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) would allocate R319 million to Lily mine to save the mine from demise.

However, the IDC denied the rumours immediately, contending that they have not yet received any application. “The time has come for all role-players to come to the table to expedite the process and to finally take a decision on the mine’s future, thereby giving the employees and other affected parties certainty as well as closure,” Prinsloo says.

Prinsloo contends that the creditors are now running out of patience and that they have decided to finally draw a line in the sand. One of the creditors has already brought a liquidation application against Lily mine. This application is on the court roll on 29 January 2018. “If this liquidation application is successful the business rescue process would be replaced by an insolvency process, and a liquidator would be appointed to administer Lily mine’s estate,” Prinsloo explains.