It seems the company in charge of the Ballarat Gold Mine may have finally lost its shaky grasp on the struggling venture.
As per the Financial Review, administrators have stepped in to take control of Balmaine Gold, the Australian company under the mine’s Singaporean owner Shen Yao, following a period of low cash flow and mounting debts.
The mine employs around 200 people.
The troubles are believed to stem from a failure to secure enough waste storage, leading to a state government regulation preventing the company from extracting saleable gold.
On at least two occasions since September the Victorian government reportedly ordered Balmaine to cease depositing wastes in the tailings storage facility because the dam was too close to its regulated capacity.
A plan to build a new tailings dam with an extra 10 years of storage was quashed by Shen Yao chairman Yao Liang in 2019.
This inability to produce the material reportedly exacerbated the situation as Shen Yao had been making late payments to suppliers without gold to sell, leading some contractors – including those for drilling operations – to cease services until the payments were made, leaving the company unable to make back the money lost.
The company has experienced controversy in recent years, coming under the spotlight for WorkSafe violations, a wrongful dismissal lawsuit and workplace culture issues.