Southland Colliery Fire
A very serious underground fire occurred at the Southland Colliery during late December 2003. An emergency situation developed very quickly at Southland and culminated in the sealing of the mine. See our Releases page for announcements which contain further information on these disastrous events and their consequences.
On 23 December, elevated gas levels were detected and the mine was evacuated. On 24 December, the situation escalated into an emergency as a “heating” indicated increased potential for spontaneous combustion of in-situ coal. On 25 December, the heating worsened and a fire commenced underground, which was suppressed by changes to mine ventilation. On 27 December, further containment was effected by injection into the mine of suppression gases, which choked oxygen supply to the fire.
On 30 December 2003, Voluntary Administrators were appointed to Gympie Gold Limited and 11 subsidiary companies (“the Group”). On that same date, Receivers and Managers were appointed to Gympie Gold Limited and three subsidiary companies.
Progress of the Receivership (as at 29 March 2004)
Following their appointment, the Receivers and Managers undertook an immediate appraisal of the situation at the Southland Colliery and the Gympie Eldorado Gold Mine. Immediate steps were taken to address the emergency position that had developed at the Southland mine in conjunction with the operator, Thiess Contractors. Subsequently, the Receivers and Managers offered for sale Gympie Eldorado Gold Mines Pty Limited, or its assets together with its interests in D’Aguilar Gold Limited. The sale process commenced in January 2004 and was expected to conclude in late March or April 2004.
As a consequence of the sale process for the gold assets and general restructuring efforts by senior management and other stakeholders, a significant number of parties engaged with the Receivers and Managers and stakeholders regarding the future of the Group.
On 11 March 2004, Gympie Gold Limited announced that a consortium of banks led by Mizuho International Plc and Investec Bank Australia Limited had replaced HSBC Precious Metals Australia and Fortis Banks as its principal bankers.
Given the appointment of new bankers, the Receivers and Managers, Ferrier Hodgson, have advised that the sale process previously put in place for Gympie Eldorado Gold Mine and the company’s shareholding in D’Aguilar Gold Limited has been put on hold while the consortium concludes its appraisal of the situation.
Re-entry at the Southland mine, which was damaged by the fire on 24 December 2003, had been proceeding satisfactorily until 11 March 2004. However, re-entry was then halted due to unsafe conditions including the discovery of further damage and active fire in main-gate roadway about one kilometre from the longwall unit.
As a result of these events and consequent safety issues and impact on the re-entry plan then being pursued, the Southland mine was placed on care and maintenance with effect from 17 March 2004. The Receivers have commissioned an expert report on mine safety and the viability of re-entry options, if any.
A decision as to the future direction of Southland Coal will be made following receipt of the experts report and consultation with Mizuho/Investec, and Southland Coal’s joint venture partner.
Managing Director, Mr Harry Adams left Gympie Gold on 31 March 2004.
Further information will be made available to creditors and stakeholders by updates posted to the website from time to time. In the meantime, interested parties can direct enquiries to Gympie Gold Limited on (02) 9251 2777 or the Receivers and Managers, Ferrier Hodgson, on (02) 9286 9999. Unsecured creditors should contact the Voluntary Administrators, KPMG, on (02) 9335 7000.
Gympie Gold Overview
Gympie Gold Limited is an Australian exploration, production and marketing company with two businesses: the re-establishment of the prolific, high-grade Gympie Goldfield in Queensland and the production of high-quality coking coal from the Hunter Valley in New South Wales.
Gold operations provide a base for exploration of the high-grade Gympie Goldfield. The focus of future drilling will be to further test recently discovered extensions of the major goldfield ore feeder system, which has to date yielded 2 million of the Goldfield’s historical production of 4 million ounces of gold.
Innovative marketing adds value to our coal and gold products. Coal products are customised to meet the specific requirements of a diverse group of coking coal products and customers globally. Gympie GoldŽ Gemstone captures value by creating a unique product sold for much more than its gold content. Gympie is now the first gold company to create a line of branded jewellery made from its own gold, silver and gemstone. It is hallmarked Gympie and has been launched internationally.
About This SiteMost of the content on this website is the same as Gympie Gold Limited's 2003 Annual Report. Our Annual Report is released in October each year and published to the website at that time. The complete 2003 Annual Report may downloaded as a PDF file. Please visit our Releases page for updates on the company's activities subsequent to publication of the Annual Report.
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