The Bob Brown Foundation has questioned the contradictory statements by Venture Minerals regarding activity on its Riley Creek mine lease in takayna/Tarkine.
“Venture Minerals are silver tongued opportunists whose plan is to smash and grab in one of the world's great wild places. Projects like Riley Creek are only viable with short term, artificially high, shock induced iron ore prices, as we are seeing now as a result of COVID-19 shutdowns of major mines in Brazil. Just like Shree Minerals who shut up shop just 9 months after commencement in the northern region of takayna / Tarkine, this mine will collapse with the return to normalised ore prices and like Shree will leave behind an environmental legacy of acid mine drainage, loss of habitat and scarred landscapes,” said Bob Brown Foundation takayna/Tarkine Campaigner Scott Jordan.
In four Annual Compliance Reports to the Department of Environment, and in at least nine separate statements to the ASX, Venture Minerals has stated that they did not commence extraction of ore, avoiding expenditures on permit commitments. Now when faced with expiry of their permits for not commencing extraction, Venture Mineral's claim that they did extract 10,000 tonnes of ore providing salvation to their permits.
"Evidently both statements can't be true, and on the balance of evidence including satellite images and company reports, it appears clear that there was no extraction of ore under these permits", Scott Jordan said.
"We believe there is a serious misconduct here and Venture Minerals and it's directors must be held accountable. A Director making a false statement in relation to EPBC Act permit compliance carries a sentence of up to two years gaol, and making false or deceptive statements to the market up to ten years gaol,” Scott Jordan said.
"Venture appears to be misrepresenting actions taken as part of its previous exploration license as evidence of ore extraction under the EPBC permit, despite these completely separate actions occurring prior to the granting and activation of permits, and in the bulk of actions occurring even before the application for the EPBC and LUPA permits,” Scott Jordan said.
The Bob Brown Foundation has lodged complaints with both the ASX and the Australian Securities and Investment Commission.