Western United Mines (WUM), owner of South Crofty Mine in Cornwall, UK, has placed the company into administration whilst continuing to seek alternative investment. This followed the announcement earlier in the month by Canadian-listed Celeste Mining that it was reviewing an earn-in agreement under which it was financing an exploration programme at the old mine, closed in 1998. Local newspaper Western Morning News reported that 35 employees – most of the company’s workforce – had been made redundant.

“Celeste’s failure to meet its financial responsibilities has been a major blow for us in terms of being able to continue with the exploration and development work that has been yielding such hugely positive results,” said Alan Shoesmith, CEO of WUM (and former CEO of Celeste) in a company statement. “We have appointed an administrator to protect the mine whilst we stop to take breath and consolidate our position. A number of employees will be made redundant whilst we move to a care and maintenance basis, however we still have production and economic revival firmly in our sights.”