CREDITORS could decide the fate of a beleaguered company in a little over a week in a crunch moment for gold mining under Bendigo's streets.
Their meeting on Monday, March 15 could have long-term ramifications for unexplored rock deep below Bendigo's surface as well as mining operations on the surface.
Kralcopic Pty Ltd has been in a protracted battle to win back its right to work the last remaining slice of Bendigo's gold fields for several years, raise enough money to pay off millions of dollars of debt and restart mining operations.
The company's decision to appoint administrators could mean a creditor, Gold Miners Australia, would pause federal court proceedings over a winding up order.
Gold Miners Australia is trying to secure a debt of $234,308.40. The case was scheduled to be heard on Friday.
Instead, administrators from specialist firm Worrells are taking over.
The Bendigo Advertiser has not yet confirmed the nature of the money Gold Miners Australia wants.
However, the company previously had a deal with Kralcopic's parent company to supply equipment that would process mineral sands in Kangaroo Flat.
The deal appears to have fallen through by mid-2019, Australian Stock Exchange documents suggest.
The Australian Securities and Investment Commission has now told creditors to expect the chance to appoint a committee of inspection.
The committee would be able to liaise with administrators about any liquidation of Kralcopic's assets. It could also choose to replace Worrells as administrators.
The Advertiser has contacted representatives of Gold Miners Australia for comment.
It has also contacted company GBM Gold, which has 100 per cent ownership of Kralcopic.
GBM Gold is not named in a public notice ASIC issued on Wednesday detailing the appointment of administrators.
The parent company halted trade on the Australian Stock Exchange in 2018 over concerns it could not pay off debts linked to the Kangaroo Flat mining site.
Kralcopic is yet to pay back a $2.58 million debt to company Unity Mining, which had let go of its rights over several Bendigo sites in 2017 after digging an 18km-long tunnel from Kangaroo Flat under city streets.
Unity had hoped to find veins of untapped gold below the city's surface, but had been unable to find enough to justify the expense of more operations there.
Kralcopic took over the site believing that it could find more gold.
GBM Gold failed to raise enough money to resume stock trade and the ASX delisted it late last year.
By then, its subsidiary was fighting mining regulator Earth Resources Regulation to win back the right to operate in Bendigo.
The regulator had revoked licences for a number of sites and Kralcopic had launched a challenge in the Supreme Court of Victoria.
The court is yet to make a ruling on the case.
The regulator previously told the Advertiser it was chasing an extra $572,000 from Kralcopic for mining bonds.
The bonds are used in cases where companies cannot pay to rehabilitate sites when operations finish.
The Advertiser is yet to confirm whether Kralcopic has paid that money.
The regulator has confirmed it has contacted Kralcopic's administrators and is providing information on the company's former mine sites.
"We will continue assisting the administrators with their requests," Earth Resources Regulation's executive director Anthony Hurst said
"If Kralcopic fails to honour its commitment to complete the rehabilitation required at its Woodvale and Kangaroo Flat sites, we will use the bonds held to fund and complete the works."
This story was updated at 4.20pm with comments from Earth Resources Regulation.
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