Vantage Goldfields South Africa (VGSA) says it is keen to complete the sales agreement with Flaming Silver and Siyakhula Sonke Empowerment Corporation (SSC) “as a matter of urgency in order to provide clarity and finality for all affected parties, but particularly former employees, creditors and the local community”.
VGSA in November 2017 agreed to sell the Lily and Barbrook mines, in Mpumalanga, to Flaming Silver on the condition that it provide R310-million to discharge business rescue plan requirements and reopen the mines.
Although the Department of Mineral Resources has recently approved the sale and transfer of the mines to Flaming Silver and its parent company SSC, the sales agreement will only be concluded once the business rescue process is completed.
Until then, VGSA remains the shareholder of record of the Vantage companies.
The complicated business rescue process has had four extensions granted over 12 months, but VGSA says it “remains committed to fulfilling its reciprocal contractual conditions” and to working with Flaming Silver, or SSC, to finalise the arrangements that include how and when the company’s employees and stakeholders can expect to receive payment.
VGSA adds that it will continue the process whereby the amended business rescue plans are prepared and completed, and the mines are reopened.
“This is vitally important, as it is the fundamental reason for the agreement being concluded,” VGSA says.
SSC earlier this week said it would soon resume operations at the mines after having started a process to recruit new employees earlier this year.
In a January 25 statement, SSC indicated that it would soon submit a new business rescue plan. The group has, however, in recent months expressed dissatisfaction with the appointed business rescue practitioner (BRP) and was seeking his removal and the appointment of a new BRP.