11 Jun Platinum Australia Limited (Subject to Deed of company arrangement)
Platinum Australia Limited (Subject to Deed of Company Arrangement)
ACN 093 417 942 (“the Company” or “PLA”) 10 June 2013
ASX code: PLA
As previously advised to the market, in January 2012 PLA subsidiary PhokaThaba Platinum (Pty) Ltd (PhokaThaba) took over as operator of the Smokey Hills Mines from Westdawn Investments (Proprietary) Limited t/a JIC Mining Services (JIC). Following termination of JIC’s contract PhokaThaba advised JIC of its claim for outstanding payments. JIC disputed the PhokaThaba claim, advised it had outstanding claims and further requested PhokaThaba make certain payments to its creditors, which JIC stated it was unable to pay. PhokaThaba declined to pay the JIC creditors and advised JIC that the dispute should be properly settled through the arbitration process set out in the Mining Services Agreement between the parties.
To date JIC has not initiated any arbitration proceedings and PLA has now been made aware that JIC has issued an application for the winding up of PhokaThaba with respect to these disputed payments. PLA’s view is that many of the allegations contained in the application are unsubstantiated and the application itself constitutes a gross abuse of court process to pressure PhokaThaba to pay JIC moneys to which it is not entitled. PhokaThaba will vehemently dispute JIC’s claims. The Deed Administrator considers that PhokaThaba has strong grounds to dispute the application and is confident that PhokaThaba will be successful in challenging the validity of the application. The view of PLA is further supported by the failure of JIC to arrange for the application to be formally served on PhokaThaba.
PLA informed Jubilee of the application, although as noted it has not yet been formally served. Jubilee has now given notice to PLA that it considers that the application for winding up of PhokoThaba comprises a “PLA Regulated Event” as defined in the Implementation Deed entered into between PLA and Jubilee, an updated copy of which was released by PLA on ASX on 3 May 2013. Paragraph (m) of Schedule 3, Part B provides that a PLA Regulated Event includes an application or order being made for the winding up or dissolution of any PLA Group Entity, other than where the application or order (as the case may be) is set aside within 14 days.
Jubilee has stated that it reserves its rights, but has not taken steps to terminate the Implementation Deed under clause 16.1(b) in relation to the alleged PLA Regulated Event.
In light of these circumstances, today PLA sought and obtained an adjournment to the first court hearing in relation to the Scheme to 20 June 2013 to give the parties time to work through these matters. At this point it is not anticipated that the adjournment will affect the End Date of the Scheme.
Further details in relation to the JIC dispute will be provided in the Scheme Booklet due to be despatched to PLA shareholders, and the Deed Administrator will continue to keep PLA stakeholders informed regarding these matters.