British Fluorspar

royfellows

Well-known member
My interest in the company is academic, I think the word "LIABILITY" is correctly capitalised. LOL. I just find the whole matter intriguing.
I am doubtful about the company becomming bona vacantia as there are creditors to the tune of at least £4.8M who would obviously apply to court for compulsory winding up. In this case it would pass into the hands of the official receiver who, due to the money involved and the complexity of the matter, would appoint an independant insolvency practitioner as temporary manager. This is usual procedure.
 
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Graigwen

Active member
I have used the threat of Bona Vacantia in the past in respect of a large asset - an aircraft hangar. Very large debts were not being paid by a company occupying the hangar and carrying on business from it. The company specifically stated in writing they did not own the hangar and did not know who owned it. On paper the company had virtually no assets, so conventional recovery proceedings were not practicable.

The mere threat of asking the Official Solicitor to start Bona Vacantia action to take over the hangar was enough to get the debts paid within a couple of weeks.

.
 

nickwilliams

Well-known member
Ironically, the land which is now owned by the charity Silence Heritage Site (SHS), where the worst of the subsidence has taken place, was of unknown ownership when we (SHS) acquired it in 2006. Ownership was regularised by the PDNPA using its powers to compulsorily purchase the land and then selling it to SHS, who purchased it using money raised from a Heritage Lottery Fund grant.

I don't think there is any remaining land along Hucklow Edge where ownership is unknown.

The mine operator has always been adamant that their activities were not the proximate cause of the surface subsidence. Their commitment to fill the holes has always been presented by them as doing us a favour rather than being acceptance of their liability. Thus I think there are no aspects of this to which bona vacantia would apply.
 

royfellows

Well-known member
Thanks for your input Nick, appreciated. I will look for any change on Companies House tomorrow, and if none, will send in my FOI request, and come back with whatever they have to say.
 

T pot 2

Active member
Depending on if it'd be a liability for you, but you could contact the bona vacantia office and ask if the company should be considered bona vacantia and if so ask if you can buy it for £100? Totally unlikely to work, but there is a tiny slim chance it might, sometimes if you are simultaneously downright cheeky enough luck can pay off. You might find angry Italians knocking on your door though, so might just end up as hassle if it did work
The liability of buying it bona vacantia would be a bad move.
 

royfellows

Well-known member
I am still awaiting reply from Companies House but feel I need to elaborate on an earlier comment I made. Re liability. Limited Liability means what it says on the tin, liability in a comapny is the limit of ones investment or purchase price of the comapny in the form of stock. This company still belongs to Mr G, if it becomes Bona vacantia by being struck of the companies regisiter, ownership will pass to the Crown. It was Crown Estate from whom I purchased Cwmystwyth Mines and incorporated Cambrian Mines Trust (Ltd) as a vehicle to do this. Note CMT is a "Limited" but as a trust we dont have to use that term.
However anyone taking possession of what is now Green Land PD Ltd, and I cannot see why anyone would want to do this, would have a huge liability in terms of aggravation and demands on time etc. And for what? If certain parties were interested in Mill Dam, hyperthetically, the mine is leashold. So in my opinion under the terms of the lease, ownership would revert to the leasor, either land or mine and mineral owner. Its quite complicated as one can own a mine but not all minerals except those in adjascent strata, or minerals but not mines. I am unable to immediately find any case law relative to leashold property becoming bona vacantia.

On an aside, I wonder about any company vehicles still in possession of ex employees, a very realistic possibility. Years ago I ran a motor compnay and a chap came in who was interested in a part exchange deal, but honestly advised that his car came into his possession when the company he worked for went bust as he put it, and he was in possession. Nobody came for it so he just kept it, eventually he took out his own insurance and applied to DVLA for a regisration document in his own name, which he got. This is how I was told it.

I understand that the mill is being dismantled. By whom and under what authority as the company has no directors?. Many, many, questions and as yet no answers.
 

royfellows

Well-known member
I have had a reply from Companies House thus:

"I have considered your numbered points, and I am of the view your questions are requesting advice and explanations rather than requesting sight of recorded information which would bring them in scope of the FOIA."

However, they go on to say:

"I have also referred your email to our Compliance Team to consider further. You will receive a response from them directly."

I will keep you all imformed
 

royfellows

Well-known member
I have today received email from Companies House Compliance Team.

Striking off due to non submission of accounts is normally done after 2 months if there is no responce to default notices sent to the company. However in this case the company responded to the effect that the company was still needed and it is CH policy and a legal requirement that strike off procedure cannot coninue in this case.

To quote:
"When the accounts went into default at the start of October 2023 we started our strike proceedings and sent default notices to the company, however as we received indication from the company that it was still required our strike off action was halted, and prosecution action against the directors would have been considered. Had we not heard from the company the a publication would have appeared in the London Gazette approx. 2 months after initial default."

They go on to confirm that strike off action due to the company having no directors has begun and a Gazette notice will be published shortly unless a new director is appointed. They explain that their system picks this up automatically 6 months after the last director resigns..

All this is useful information and answers a lot of questions. The 6 month dealine after last director resigns is in 11 days anyway.

The big huge question of course is "What are the creditors doing"?
There are a lot of assets on the ground.
 

royfellows

Well-known member
Latest Development

Companies House now states "Confirmation Statement overdue Next statement date 17 May 2024 due by 31 May 2024"

Last statement dated 17 May 2023

The company still has no Gazette entry advising strike off. All very, very odd.
 

Cal.Patel

New member
Dear forum chat,

I'm sorry to hear about the closure of this UK-based fluorspar mine.

I'm Calum, a PhD student at the University of Oxford (UK) researching fluorine chemistry. I would like to source some metallurgical-grade fluorspar (metspar 60-85% CaF2) for research purposes (< 1 kg). I've struggled to reach the right contact to help me with this and thought it would be worth a shot writing on this forum, in case anyone knows where I could obtain a sample from.

Thank you so much.
 

nickwilliams

Well-known member
Dear forum chat,

I'm sorry to hear about the closure of this UK-based fluorspar mine.

I'm Calum, a PhD student at the University of Oxford (UK) researching fluorine chemistry. I would like to source some metallurgical-grade fluorspar (metspar 60-85% CaF2) for research purposes (< 1 kg). I've struggled to reach the right contact to help me with this and thought it would be worth a shot writing on this forum, in case anyone knows where I could obtain a sample from.

Thank you so much.
There are several thousand tons of it in a pile less than a mile from where I am sitting. Drop me a PM with your 'proper' contact details and I'll see what we can do to help.
 
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