Wannabe takayna / Tarkine miner Venture Minerals’ AGM in Perth this morning was again the subject of protest outside and a terse exchange inside between shareholder activist and Bob Brown Foundation campaigner Scott Jordan and the Chairman of the Venture Minerals board Mr Mel Ashton, as the director took issue with questions put from the floor.
Venture disclosed in October that it had less than two-quarters of cash reserves remaining after a failed capital raising earlier in the year. In its October quarterly report, the company stated to the ASX that it would be cutting expenditure on exploration and ‘studies’. The company withdrew its Mt Lindsay and Livingstone EPBC referrals for mining in takayna’s World Heritage Value rainforests earlier this year, claiming to be preparing to resubmit revised proposals.
In a departure from the past three years, the AGM was not available online to shareholders.
“Venture Minerals are in serious trouble. The ship is sinking and the directors seem to think that blocking accountability and transparency will plug the holes,” said Bob Brown Foundation takayna / Tarkine Campaigner Scott Jordan.
“The Chairman refused to allow questions from shareholders on the company’s performance to be put prior to voting on the remuneration of directors, and when challenged as to the legality under the Corporations Act 2001, he threatened to remove me from the meeting. He also declared that the questions on performance could not be put to the resolution to accept the financial reports, and then only agreed to take questions following the close of the meeting with no minuting of these questions or any answers to be given. This is bizarre and, in our view, unlawful.”
“In the ‘after the close of the meeting’ question session, Venture Minerals CEO Andrew Radonjic conceded that the re-referral of the Mt Lindsay project is subject to metallurgical studies at least a year away, with no guarantee of a new referral, and that the Livingstone project re-referral was effectively in hiatus until signs of life occur at its failed and mothballed Riley Creek mine. This raises serious questions about the validity of the Livingstone lease which has been listed by Mineral Resources Tasmania as ‘pending renewal’ since expiring in June 2021.”
“In response to a question regarding what consideration had been offered to Acuity Capital to extend a line of credit in the failing company that would have expired in June 2023, neither the Chairman nor the CEO offered an answer, with Company Secretary Jamie Byrde indicating there was no consideration made. Following the meeting, Mt Byrde directed me to a statement to the ASX disclosing that Acuity Capital was granted 85 million shares in recompense. Apparently, 85 million shares just slipped the notice of the assembled directors in the meeting.”
“The track record of this company is a string of untruths and financial misadventures. It is time for the Tasmanian Government to pull the pin on this folly and join calls for the area’s World Heritage values to be formally recognised in a nomination to the United Nations World Heritage Committee.”