12 July, 2023
Chillagoe mine goes into voluntary administration
ALMOST 200 employees have been laid off by Aurora Metals after the company, which has zinc and copper projects in Chillagoe and Mt Garnet, went into voluntary administration and in a “care and maintenance” mode.
The company had been grappling with financial difficulties for some time, and after an unsuccessful IPO and a 40 per cent decline in zinc prices over the past 10 months, KordaMentha Restructuring have been appointed as Voluntary Administrators.
KordaMentha will now evaluate the overall position of the Aurora Metals Group and determine the best course of action to maximise value for all stakeholders.
Simultaneously, they will initiate a sale process for the various assets owned by the group.
“The Aurora Metals Group will undoubtably attract interest given its portfolio of assets and the current environment where battery metals are in strong demand,” administrator Richard Tucker said.
“The group has four underground mines including King Vol and Mungana, a 500,000tpa
processing plant at Mt Garnet and a 600,000tpa processing plant at Chillagoe all on care and main- tenance, together with various other prospects in development.”
For the township of Chillagoe, the loss of employees will not have a great effect on local businesses.
Chillagoe Pub owner Herman D’Wilde, who purchased the hotel in May last year, said his business was not reliant upon business from the employees to be viable.
“When we bought the business last year, we al- ready knew the mine wasn’t doing well,” he said. “They had already started shredding staff a while ago, 40 or 50 went, now it’s down to a skeleton crew of around 15.”
The Voluntary Administrators have invited interested parties to express their intent to acquire the Aurora Metals Group or individual projects.
The mining industry will be closely watching the proceedings as stakeholders, investors, and potential buyers assess the future prospects and potential value of the group's zinc and copper projects amidst evolving market dynamics.