Venture Minerals shareholders have continued their revolt against the board and management, failing to fill a new subscription of shares offered in a capital raising due to close yesterday. Venture, with less than two months of funds left, had sought to raise $ 3 million from existing shareholders to keep the lights on. This comes as ASIC has confirmed it will investigate a complaint by Bob Brown Foundation that Venture has engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct by claiming possession of two mine leases that expired in June and December 2022.
The lapsed leases sat in takayna / Tarkine, within areas independently verified as having National and World Heritage values, as well as being habitat for threatened species like the Tasmanian Devil, Spotted tailed Quoll and Tasmanian Masked Owl.
“On 38 occasions in 14 ASX announcements, Venture Minerals has either claimed ownership of the Livingstone and Riley Creek mine leases that it no longer possesses, or has referred to the proposed Livingstone and Riley Creek mining projects without disclosing that the mine leases relating to those projects lapsed in June and December 2022. These announcements include blatantly deceptive comments regarding these leases in Annual, Half Yearly and Quarterly Reports over this period,” said Bob Brown Foundation takayna /Tarkine Campaigner Scott Jordan.
“Last week we referred this matter to Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX). Yesterday ASIC confirmed it will investigate”.
“Both lapsed leases and a third current lease sit in the takayna / Tarkine region recommended for both National and World Heritage listing.”
Shareholders previously vented anger at Venture Minerals management, with 40% of shareholders voting to spill the board of directors at the 2022 Annual General Meeting.
Venture received two grants in 2022 from the Tasmanian Government to undertake exploration works, including work that appears to have been abandoned before completion earlier this year.
In 2019 Venture was fined for failing to meet environmental permit conditions.
“This is a company on the edge of collapse. It doesn’t have the confidence of its shareholders, it has been caught out, again and again, lying to the public, and its only mine fell over months after commencement. We won’t shed any tears for Venture Minerals’ demise, but Minister Ellis should place on the public record how much public funds will be required to undertake the rehabilitation of these lapsed mine leases and how he plans on ending this farce and see takayna’s Wolrd Heritage Value landscapes protected from ill-fated marauders like Venture.”