Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 15 June 2011 – There are "serious discrepancies" between the assets handed to back Aurora’s liquidators, and those given to the company when it made a R600 million bid for the financially-stricken Pamodzi Gold mines.
“Our preliminary conclusions are that there are serious discrepancies in the assets returned to the joint provisional liquidators by Aurora,” Miningmx quotes one of the liquidators, Johan Engelbrecht as saying.
The joint provisional liquidators, appointed to manage Pamodzi’s assets, recently cancelled their interim trading and contract mining agreement with Aurora. As a result Aurora had to hand back the mines “’ the Orkney mine in the North West and the Grootvlei mine in Springs “’ to the liquidators in the same condition as it found them.
Unions representing workers who were owed millions of rand in unpaid salaries, had claimed Aurora was stripping the mines’ assets.
“The joint provisional liquidators are determining the way forward,” Engelbrecht said.
In addition, Aurora had failed to continue pumping operations at the Grootvlei mine to prevent the mines from flooding, due to its failure to maintain equipment and pay electricity bills.
“If this is allowed to continue, a ‘major ecological disaster’ could result,” Engelbrecht warned. The liquidators intended approaching the Water Affairs Department to find a solution.
Aurora currently owed Eskom about R54 million, hence its power supply was cut. An agreement had however been reached for a limited electricity supply, to preserve the mine’s assets. Contractors had been appointed at both mines to generate sufficient interim income to protect the assets.
The liquidators have invited other interested parties to make a bid for the mines. “This invitation is to expeditiously finalise the disposal of the mines in a transparent and responsible manner, given their impact on employment and the economy of the areas,” they stated.