Gold: Venus launches legal battle against Spectrum over Penny West deal
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Venus Metals (ASX:VMC) has filed legal proceedings against fellow Youanmi explorer Spectrum Metals (ASX:SPX), alleging it misused confidential information in order to acquire the historic high grade Penny West gold mine in October 2018.
Shares in Spectrum skyrocketed earlier this year after hitting bonanza gold grades at Penny West, proving that there is still significant potential in (and around) Australia’s historical gold mines.
Venus, which is also getting some solid exploration results in the neighbouring tenements, has commenced proceedings in the Supreme Court of Western Australia against Spectrum Metals, two of its directors, and its wholly-owned subsidiary Zebra Minerals ( the Spectrum entity that owns Penny West), along with former Perth-based advisory DJ Carmichael.
Venus alleges that in July and August 2018 it provided confidential information to Paul Adams and Davide Bosio, in their former roles as technical advisor and director of DJ Carmichael respectively, including information about Penny West and Venus’ proposed acquisition of the mine. Both Adams and Bosio were also directors of Spectrum at that time.
Spectrum subsequently undertook negotiations to acquire Penny West and closed the deal in October 2018.
As part of its case, Venus says it signed a confidentiality deed with DJ Carmichael. It alleges misuse of the information it says it provided to DJ Carmichael, along with breaches of fiduciary duty and breach of confidence.
Spectrum said it has not as yet been served with any court documents in relation to Venus’ claim, but based upon Venus’ ASX announcement the allegations were “made without merit” and that it would vigorously defend the proceedings.
The explorer would also consider any counterclaim it may have against Venus “in relation to the circumstances in which the proceedings have been commenced”.
It also said exploration would continue as normal.
Venus is claiming for either a “constructive trust” over Penny West, asking that it be held for the benefit of itself and its shareholders, or that the other parties account to the company for the benefits they have obtained and damages.
“The Venus Metals Board has carefully considered the best interests of shareholders before initiating this litigation and will request that the Court hears the matter at the earliest opportunity,” managing director Matthew Hogan said.
Spectrum is down about 25 per cent in morning trade. Venus jumped to highs of 23.7c in late afternoon trade yesterday, before falling back about 10 per cent to 19.7c today.
Strategic Energy Resources (ASX:SER) has kicked-off the drilling of two holes at its Saxby gold project in Queensland.The first hole is designed to confirm the continuity of high-grade mineralisation of up to 8m at 15.1g/t gold intersected in two historical drill holes while the second will be drilled to the north of known mineralisation.
Metalicity (ASX:MCT) has started planning for its next drilling program at the Kookynie gold project in the Goldfields region after raising more than $200,000 through a share placement. The company is looking to identify locations prospective for gold mineralisation that has not been adequately tested through historical exploration.