Blyvoor’s problems still not solved

Although the situation at Blyvooruitzicht Gold Mine has stabilised, the mine’s problems may still not be at an end.

The problems at Blyvoor, the oldest mine in the Carletonville area, started in August last year when the mine’s previous owner, the company Village Main Reef, also known as Village, indicated that it will not take responsibility for the mine’s losses anymore. In the meantime, DRDGold, the company which had owned Blyvoor before, also indicated that does not want anything to do with the mine. Since this time Village has also claimed that the sale of Blyvoor was not fully completed, an allegation denied by DRDGold.
As a result of the mine’s troubles it was placed under provisional liquidation in order to see whether the mine or some of its assets could not be sold. In December a disaster was averted when two prospective buyers were able to negotiate with Eskom not to cut the electricity supply to the mine. If the electricity was cut, residents of the village would be without power, water and sewerage services while water would flood the mine.
National government departments involved in mining did not put a stop to Eskom’s action while the Merafong City Local Municipality also indicated that it was not going to get involved in the matter.
According to one of the provisional liquidators appointed for Blyvoor, Mr Leigh Roering, all was, however still not plain sailing at the mine.
Roering told the Herald that the sale of the Blyvoor village to a property developer from Rustenburg, Ms Liz Gericke, was still in the process of being finalized. Although Gericke has started to take over the running of the village, some prerequisites still had to be met before the village could officially be sold.
One of these conditions are that Blyvoor’s must officially be proclaimed as a town.
In the meantime, the company Gold-rich Holdings is also still in the process of buying Blyvoor’s mining activities.
“We wrestled the gold plant back from the zama-zamas and they also put a new security company in place,” says Roering.
He added that Goldrich Holdings also indicated that it wants to continue mining at the one shaft that is still in operation at the mine.
To show that they have the capacity to run the mine, Goodrich Holdings was however supposed to pay over a certain amount of money by the end of December.
Although the company has not been able to do so, the deadline for the payment has been extended after unions representing workers at the mine agreed to such a step.
“I hoped that everything at Blyvoor would have been sorted out by now but it is still not the case,” Roering told the Herald.
He added that, if Goodrich Holdings is not able to come up with the amount of money that is required, the process to sell the mine to them “would revert to square one”.

Adele Louw for CARLETONVILLE HERALD

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