Great Escape mine set to resume production
THE Beaconsfield mine in Tasmania will start operating next month, less than a year after a rock fall killed a miner and trapped two others for 14 days.
Beaconsfield Gold, one of the troubled mine’s owners, yesterday bought out its partners, including heavily indebted Allstate Explorations, to take majority ownership and save it from being closed.
Investors will be able to buy shares in the company after negotiations with Allstate’s only secured creditor, Macquarie Bank, ensured its re-listing on the Australian Stock Exchange.
Beaconsfield Gold chief Bill Colvin said the company would pay $700,000 upfront to Macquarie Bank and $2.15 million when the mine had reopened and returned to commercial production.
All the payments would be gifted to the families of the mine’s workers and the widow of Larry Knight, who died in a rock fall there on Anzac Day last year.
Mr Colvin said yesterday production was due to recommence “in the next few weeks”.
Under the deal announced yesterday, Beaconsfield will buy international miner Newmont’s stake in its joint venture partner Allstate Explorations for $1.4 million, giving it 82.8 per cent of the company and control of the mine.
Allstate, which owns 51.51 per cent of the mine, was put in the hands of administrators in 2001 and its shares remain suspended at 12.