VantageGoldfieldsCity Press reports that the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) has intervened in the litigation process that has stalled the reopening of two Mpumalanga gold mines and the retrieval of the bodies of three workers who were buried underground.  

The department hopes to pursuade the owner of Lily and Barbrook mines, Vantage Goldfields SA (VGSA), as well as Arqomanzi – an entity formed by Siyakhula Sisonke Corporation (SSC) subsidiary Flaming Silver 373 – and Taung Gold to reach an out-of-court settlement.  Arqomanzi has put in a R472 million offer to buy the mines, located near Barberton.  They were shut down in February 2016 when the entrance to Lily Mine collapsed.  The mines were subsequently placed in business rescue.  But VGSA has been reluctant to sell to the company to Flaming Silver, and would prefer to sell it to Real Win Investments instead.  VGSA initially cancelled a sale agreement it had signed with Flaming Silver, thereby precipitating court challenges from SSC.  DMRE spokesperson Ayanda Shezi confirmed that they were trying to mediate between the two companies to reach an out-of-court settlement.  Since the closure, 1,000 workers have lost their jobs.  Some former workers have been camping outside Lily Mine (for 332 days at last count) and going underground to try to retrieve the container office that sank underground while their three colleagues were working inside.


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