CREDITORS of Optimum Coal Mine, currently in business rescue, will meet at the end of this month to vote on three shortlisted bids tabled for the mine, business rescue practitioner (BRP), Louis Klopper of Coronado Consulting said on Monday.
Klopper, who is one of four BRPs, said the meeting to vote on the bids, which was originally scheduled for 10 December, was postponed. After the January 31 meeting, the successful bidder will be announced.
He declined to name the three short-listed bidders, but confirmed that the consortium led by state-owned African Exploration Mining and Finance Corporation (AEMFC), which had previously offered R1bn in post-commencement funding (a proposal rejected by creditors in April), was one of them.
He also declined to confirm the range of prices being offered for the mine.
Optimum Coal Mine, which is currently on care and maintenance, was put into business rescue in February 2018. It was one of the companies in the Gupta family-owned Tegeta Mining and Resources group, which was unable to continue operating after the only bank willing to offer it facilities, the Bank of Baroda, exited South Africa.
The announcement of Optimum’s sale was expected to follow shortly after the sale of another Tegeta-owned mine, Koornfontein.
However, that process has become embroiled in litigation after the preferred bidder, Lurco, was unable to produce the funding in a South African bank account by deadline, so it was sold to the second short-listed bidder, Black Royalty Minerals. Lurco has applied to interdict the Koornfontein sale from proceeding.