File Photo: IOL
JOHANNESBURG – Flamin Silver Trading has launched a new court application to force Vantage Goldfields SA (VGSA) to hand over the ownership of Lily and Barbrook mines in Mpumalanga.

The special purpose vehicle created by Siyakhula Sonke Empowerment Corporation (SSC) and its partners for the transaction yesterday said that the stalling of the transaction had prejudiced its investments and the livelihoods of the Barberton community which was closely linked to the mines

SSC Group chief executive Fred Arendse said that the corporation approached the Mpumalanga High Court in Mbombela after numerous attempts to resolve the issues had failed.

Arendse said VGSA had 10 days to file their opposing affidavit, upon which the court would give a date on when the application would be heard.

Arendse said Flaming Silver entered into a sale agreement in November last year for a 74percent shareholding of VGSA and 42percent of Lily Mine.

He said VGSA was expected to deliver share certificates, a deed of cession in respect of the sale claims, all books and records, and written resignations of all the directors of VGL, Barbrook and Lily Mine, among other things.

“SSC has to date contributed more than R29.3million to the transaction and the post commencement funding of the companies,” he said.

Lily and Barbrooke mines are under business rescue, with production halted after a crown pillar collapsed in February 2016, resulting in the bodies of three mineworkers remaining trapped underground until this day.

Vantage Goldfields was not immediately available for comment.

However, this month the group said that the sale of shares agreement had been cancelled as Flaming Silver did not have the financial capacity necessary to conclude the deal.

Arendse said that the new court bid included an application to avert the liquidation of the gold mining companies as threatened by joint BRPs Rob Devereux and Daniel Terblance.

In a report for the month ended March Devereux and Terblanche on Monday confirmed the sale of share transaction between Flaming Silver and VGSA.

The report said that the transaction also met the requirements of the Department of Mineral Resources.

“We have written confirmation that the shares are still owned by Vantage Goldfields SA and ownership has not changed.

"This situation remains the same, other than for the cancellation of the transaction with Flaming Silver. Vantage Goldfields SA have indicated that they have various buyers and are evaluating their options.”

Flaming Silver chairperson Kgabo Moabelo said the mines needed to be re-opened, and described the issue as a matter of national importance.

“We have got a clear six-month plan to start operating those mines once the court gives us the green light,” said Moabelo.

“The SSC Group has built strong relationships with the community and its goal to employ approximately 900 employees and generate revenue will be impossible if Vantage Goldfields does not transfer the shares and avert liquidation.”