Less than six months after Balmaine Gold entered into administration, London’s Acheron Capital has come in with what could be an eleventh hour reprieve.
Balmaine Gold, the Australian subsidiary of Singaporean company Shen Yao, owned the last remaining gold mine in Ballarat, Victoria, before it appointed Hall Chadwick as administrators in March of this year.
The Ballarat mine hadn’t produced saleable gold since October 2022, when the Victorian Government ordered Balmaine to stop depositing wastes into the tailings storage facility.
While Balmaine was allowed to remove ore from underground, the order made it impossible for the company to use the facility to extract the gold.
Owing to the stoppage of production, Balmaine was also unable to make regular payments to its suppliers.
However, Balmaine may be able to operate the mine again if Acheron Capital’s $42 million acquisition bid is successful.
Hall Chadwick listed the mine sales process on July 15 and since then have received over 90 expressions of interest, 30 confidentiality agreements and over 10 non-binding indicative offers.
“It is noted that the response to the sale process has been exceptionally positive, with a remarkable level of interest in the mine,” Shen Yao said in a statement.
“During the ongoing sales process, the gold production activities have remained uninterrupted. The administrators have been overseeing and enhancing the mining operations in collaboration with external mining consultants.
“Additionally, efforts to expand the tailing storage facilities have been progressing steadily.”
With so much interest, and a solid offer on the table, all that remains to be seen is who will take up ownership – and for how much.