There’s no faulting Peter Skeat, a mining veteran with notable highlights on his CV, when it comes to talking up his ventures. Skeat has had a poor run of form in recent years, with the Galaxy Gold venture — a huge operation at a century-old mine in Barberton failing to take off.This time, he plans to restart the decades-old, shut, vandalised and stripped Blyvooruitzicht gold mine, overrun by illegal miners who, according to TV programme Carte Blanche, have running gun battles with security guards. DRDGold sold the mine in 2012 to Village Main Reef, which was a cash shell brought briefly back to life by Bernard Swanepoel, the former CEO and turnaround artist of Harmony Gold, who made his reputation by buying old gold mines, stripping costs to the bone and keeping the operations open and profitable for many years. The Swanepoel magic failed to revive Blyvoor, which was crippled by seismicity, water ingress and high costs. It was shut in 2013. If Skeat failed to secure the R400m he ne...

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