JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – British Virgin Islands company AlphaGlobal Capital has applied in the Gauteng Division of the High Court in Pretoria for the winding-up of Eastern Platinum (Eastplats), a platinum group metals (PGM) company listed in Toronto and Johannesburg, which is said in filed court papers to be unable to pay its debts.
AlphaGlobal Capital is seeking an order for Eastplats to be placed under final winding-up in the hands of the Master of the High Court.
The application filed states that Eastplats has terminated its mining and construction operations and describes the company's corporate profile claim of having a strong balance sheet as being outdated and no longer accurate.
It says that Eastplats’ capital preservation endeavours in the protracted recession affecting PGM products have not been successful and that its share price is currently a fraction of what it traded at in the late 2013 period, illustrating diminished shareholder sentiments.
Unsuccessful and troubled endeavours, it adds, have been made to dispose of the company’s dormant assets with financial statements pointing to the company no longer being able to operate as a going concern.
The filed application contends that unless the company is placed in the hands of a liquidator empowered to dispose of assets for the benefit of creditors and shareholders, the continued actions of opportunistic operators will squander and deplete assets to the prejudice of all interested parties.
Eastplats stated last month that it was opposing 'a claim' filed by AlphaGlobal against it relating to a 2007 agreement, under which AlphaGlobal was to have received R30.79-million, but failed to mention that an application had been filed for the winding-up of the company.
Eastplats said at the time that it had taken steps to have the claim struck as frivolous and vexatious and was of the view that no amount was owing to AlphaGlobal.
Eastplats subsequently entered a notice to oppose but has not as yet filed its answering affidavits.
Also reported earlier this month was the missing by Eastplats of the March 31 deadline to file its financial statements for the financial year ended December 31.
Eastplats explained at the time that it was unable to deliver its audit report until the investigation into “certain transactions entered into by former management” was further advanced.
This included the proposed sale of Eastplats’ Barplats Mines, which holds the Crocodile River mine, to China-based precious metals mining services provider Hebei Zhongheng Tianda Platinum (HZT) for $50-million.
The investigation was initiated after the replacement of the entire former Eastplats board with new directors in July last year.
In December, HZT served Eastplats and several of its subsidiaries with a notice of civil claim in the British Columbia Supreme Court over an alleged repudiation and breach of a share purchase agreement entered into between Eastplats’ former management and HZT in June 2016.
Eastplats said it expected to file its audited financial statements for the 2016 financial year “as soon as practicable”.