Another goldmine, another contestable VA

Hall Chadwick’s
Richard Albarran.

Fresh from being turfed out of an appointment as voluntary administrator (VA) of a company in control of gold mine in Queensland, Richard Albarran is now facing resistance from another gold miner disinclined to let the Hall Chadwick Sydney partner anywhere near its nuggets.

To this end, Golden Point Pty Ltd (Golden Point) yesterday sought an urgent injunction in the Federal Court to prevent the first meeting of creditors of the Ballarat gold mine operator Balmaine Gold Pty Ltd from proceeding next Tuesday.

Golden Point, which is part of the Singapore-based Shen Yao Holdings Limited group, sought to have the meeting postponed while its lawyers prepared an application to have set aside the appointment of Albarran and fellow Hall Chadwick partners Richard Lawrence and Cameron Shaw as VAs of Balmaine.

The hearing, which was adjourned late yesterday to allow the VAs time to put on evidence, is scheduled to resume on Monday.

If the applicant is successful it will be the second appointment to a gold mine that Albarran and his Hall Chadwick colleagues have lost in less than six months.

In November Albarran, along with Hall Chadwick colleagues Marcus Watters and Brent Kijurina were found to have been invalidly appointed as VAs to Jin Resources Pty Ltd, a Hong Kong-based entity which in 2020 agreed to purchase the Gilded Rose gold project near Cloncurry from Ausmex.

In that matter the Hall Chadwick trio had been appointed by David Purcell’s Litigation Funding Solutions in its capacity as a secured creditor of Jin.

The Supreme Court of Queensland however found that no event of default justifying an appointment of administrators had occurred and the three were ousted and ordered to pay costs.

Similarly in the case of Balmaine, the three were appointed on the basis of a default in February on a loan repayment to secured creditor GI 306 Pty Ltd.

In a statement Shen Yao Holdings said the appointment was a result of a “late interest payment due on 16 February 2023, which was ultimately paid by Balmaine on 9 March 2023”. This was one day after the VAs were appointed.

The statement further said that Golden Point had engaged King & Wood Mallesons to act as its Australian legal counsel “and it is believed that, even if the appointment of Hall Chadwick as administrator of Balmaine may be technically valid, it could be set aside by order of the court”.

Interestingly, the administrators’ DIRRI indicates that Hall Chadwick was speaking with the referrer, its advisor Empire Capital Partners, and former Balmaine director Jia Jia Yao well before the mid-February event of default.

Also interesting is that Justin Epstein, who had the misfortune of being caught up in the multi-million dollar i-Prosperity collapse, is also a director of Hall Chadwick’s appointor, GI 306.

iNO will provide more meat after Golden Point’s application has been heard on Monday.

Further reading:

Administrators Ousted After Security Ruled Invalid

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