Today's Labour News

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VantageGoldfieldsMail & Guardian reports that just months after clinching a deal to revive the Lily Mine in Mpumalanga, Vantage Goldfields now faces claims that it was acting negligently while the mine was under care and maintenance.  

Allegations have been made in a liquidation application by Dwaine Koch, a representative of the creditors of Barbrook, that illegal mining had been going on at Lily Mine and at the neighbouring Barbrook Mine.  The creditors are seeking to liquidate Vantage, which owns both mines.  The application includes claims that the illegal mining of underground pillars has been taking place at the shuttered Lily Mine.  Such activity could risk a pillar collapse similar to the February 2016 tragedy in which three workers died after being trapped in a metal container being used as an office.  This led to the mine being closed and Vantage Goldfields being placed in business rescue.  The creditors also claim that gold-bearing material is being sold from Barbrook without the knowledge of the Department of Mineral Resources.  

In April, business rescue practitioner Rob Devereux secured a breakthrough of a R190m loan from the Industrial Development Corporation and an agreement with the Siyakhula Sonke Corporation to buy out all Vantage Goldfields’ shares for R10-million.  Siyakhula’s chief executive, Fred Arendse, has accused Koch of trying to undermine the deal so that liquidation can go ahead and the company shares can be sold off cheaply.


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