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Aquacarotene action settled

SHAREHOLDERS have approved the settlement terms of two Supreme Court of Western Australia actions taken against companies related to Aquacarotene directors Don Smith and Milton Cooper.

Shareholders agreed to Aquacarotene paying the $249,774.45 deemed owing to Westaus Corporate Consultants as part of a consultancy agreement between the two companies, and to accept a $10,000 settlement from Whitehall Securities Pty Ltd.

The listed health services company had commenced court action against Westaus, a company linked to Mr Smith and Mr Cooper, and Whitehall, a company linked to Mr Smith in the lead up to an attempted board spill at the company’s annual general meeting last November.

Both actions were settled out of court.

The June 27 meeting was deemed to be simply “housekeeping” by Aquacarotene director Doug Wood.

The bitter battle at the AGM, which had to be adjourned and recommenced in January, resulted in the resignations of Aquacarotene director Geoffrey Coad, its non-executive chairman Syd Chesson and company secretary Simon Chesson.

All three departed before the AGM was reconvened.

On the AGM’s agenda had been three resolutions seeking to remove Mr Cooper, Mr Smith and the company’s former chairman.

Aquacarotene has a number of ponds near Karratha that are being used to extract natural betacarotene from algae.

It also has about 120 hectares at its Karratha operations that has sand and gravel suitable for siteworks.

The company recently announced to the Australian Stock Exchange that BGC Contracting Pty Ltd has paid a $50,000 option fee and has 90 days to carry out drilling, surveying, sampling and testing of materials to assess quality and quantity.

If it decides to exercise its option, BGC can mine the sand and gravel at the site.

Mr Smith said Aquacarotene had deliberately chosen the site because of the sand and gravel it held.

However, he said some of the sand and gravel would be needed for levy banks for the company’s ponds.

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