QMEB » Far North Qld mines collapse with $280M in debt
Accommodation Down Tools Industrial Relations Investor Relations Latest News

Far North Qld mines collapse with $280M in debt

King Vol mine
King Vol mine

Multiple operations entered insolvency after being unable to cover running expenses.

KordaMentha recently began administering the sale of Aurora Metals, which financially collapsed at the end of June 2023.

Restructuring partner Tony Miskiewicz revealed Aurora owed more than $280 million, 70 per cent of which comprises of claims from major client China Railway Materials and one of its subsidiaries.

The proponent’s bank account contained no cash, employees were owed weeks of wages and catering was unable to sustain the original 195-strong workforce at the time of publication.

“Wages and redundancies had not been paid in June [2023], totalling approximately $1.1M in net pay. Employees were on their third fortnightly pay cycle of unpaid wages. Superannuation of some $720,000 was also owing,” KordaMentha said in a report obtained by News Limited.

“Camp services had been brought back to a minimum with very little food on-site when the administrators staff arrived. The food on site was insufficient to support the number of employees on-site,” Miskiewicz added.

The employer has already retrenched 150 workers. Accountancy Grant Thornton promised to pay unpaid wages, dating back to 30 June and 9 July, mid-July 2023.

The following underground mines are affected:

  • Mungana, 220km west of Cairns
  • King Vol, 244km west of Cairns
  • Mount Garnet, 109km southwest of Cairns

Operations have beenin care and maintenance since May 2023. The proponent previously entered voluntary administration during 2017, 2016 and 2012.

Meanwhile Fortescue Metals Group (FMG) confirmed pests contaminated employee meals at its Iron Base accommodation camp, 145km south of Port Hedland.

“Samples of the [cook-to-order steak] larvae were tested and the results found it was from a species of fly commonly known to the Pilbara region which deposits live larvae,” a company spokesperson said according to the media outlet.

“It is highly likely the food became contaminated after being cooked and served.”

The remarks came after the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union complained about maggot infested food and mouldy air-conditioning vents in employee rooms.

FMG claims rooms are cleaned at least once a week, and it is always committed to providing a “safe and clean” work environment.

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment

Gold/Silver Index