This week marked exactly 3 years since the horrific disaster.
The man who bought the troubled Barberton gold mine is reportedly hiring in March 2019.
Fred Arendse who owns the Siyakhula Sonke Empowerment Corporation (SSC) that took over Lily Mine in Mpumalanga last year said operations are going to resume quite soon.
Other people have already been recruited for employment and the process will continue in March.
Arendse’s company bought Vantage Goldfields, Lily Mine’s former owners, late last year through a R190 million loan from the Industrial Development Corporations. The loan is part of a black empowerment programme.
In December 2018, the transfer of Lily Mine from Vantage Goldfields to Siyakhula Sonke’s subsidiary Flaming Silver Trading was concluded.
“There needs to be a dawn of a new Vantage Gold mine that will benefit the people for the better,” said Arendse.
On 5 February 2016, Yvonne Mnisi, Pretty Nkambule and Solomon Nyarende were trapped underground when the container in which they were working was swallowed by earth during the collapse of a shaft. Their bodies remain underground.
Since then the mine has closed, with hundreds of workers losing jobs.
Arendse said operations would resume soon and should occur to benefit the community.
Arendse spent a long time been with Anglo American before starting his own mining company 13 years ago.
Government said it supports all efforts meant to restart operations at the mine and the retrieving of the three workers’ bodies.
“The department supports all efforts to ensure the new owners are able to resume operations and find the container, so their families and loved ones can have closure,” the mineral resources department said in a statement.
(edited by ZK)
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Certain conditions needed to be met before the money could come in.
A “wrangling” between parties is threatening owners of the Lily Mine from getting a much-needed loan from the Industrial Development Corporation.
The IDC said they have not yet made a commitment to give Vantage Goldfields the money because certain attached conditions have not been met.
The loan needed is a R190 million and would assist the troubled mine begin operations.
“The wrangling among interested parties is a considerable threat to the re-opening of the mine – whose commencement of operations is also subject to the department of mineral resources approval,” Zama Luthuli of IDC said.
Some of the conditions attached to the loan are that the company provide the IDC with a Memorandum of Incorporation as well as copies of subscription and shareholder agreements.
The company still needs to provide mineral resources department with documents to show the company’s mining rights are still valid, according to reports.
Robert Devereux of Strategic Turnaround was appointed as business rescue practitioner of the gold mine since a shaft collapse in February 2018 that forced the mine to close down.
Dwaine Koch of the Barbrook Creditors Committee has accused Devereux of delaying tactics.
“The business rescue practitioner misled us and only circulated an amended business rescue plan on 23 July 2018,” Koch told Business Report.
“And they scheduled voting one day before our provisional liquidation application, self-evidently desperately trying to postpone our application again,” Koch said.
The loan was granted to Vantage Goldfields, which owns the mine in Barberton, Mpumalanga.
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Earlier this year, Devereaux said they had secured the R300 million which they have always been requiring to be able to rescue Yvonne Mnisi, Pretty Nkambule and Solomon Nyerende.
The three workers are still trapped underground since the shaft collapse in 2016.
“We have new investors and the R300 million we have secured is enough,” Devereaux said in April 2018.
“We have signed agreements but there are certain conditions that must be met before the money flows in,” he said.
“Once the money comes in, we will start developing a new shaft and open the mine,” said Devereaux.
“The search for the remains of the trapped miners will resume a year later for safety reasons. This is because we still have to develop a new shaft and be able to see where the container is before we can resume the search,” Devereaux said then.
(edited by MLM)
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