03/08/2017 - 14:14

Protesters to take aim at Eastern Goldfields at Diggers

03/08/2017 - 14:14

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UPDATED: Eastern Goldfields is expected to be confronted at next week’s Diggers and Dealers conference by local contractors who claim they have not been paid by the Perth gold miner.

Protesters to take aim at Eastern Goldfields at Diggers
Protesters are likely to target a presentation where Michael Fotios will be speaking next week. Photo: Attila Csaszar

UPDATED: Eastern Goldfields is expected to be confronted at next week’s Diggers & Dealers conference by local contractors who claim they have not been paid by the Perth gold miner.

Diggers & Dealers notified media today that there would likely be a protest outside of a presentation on Tuesday afternoon, at which Eastern Goldfields chairman Michael Fotios will be speaking.

The protestors will comprise local contractors who have said they are owed money by Eastern.

“We are advised that this will be peaceful and not interfere with Diggers & Dealers,” the event representatives said.

Simon Hogan of Kalgoorlie-based Hogan Construction told The West Australian that up to 80 people representing 20 contractors and suppliers would stage the protest.

Mr Hogan said the contractors were owed about $1.3 million.

Eastern issued a statement saying it had paid two contractors believed to be organising the protest.

Separately, there is a looming Supreme Court fight between Eastern and Perth company GR Engineering Services, which had been contracted to undertake refurbishment work at Eastern’s Davyhurst gold processing facility earlier this year.

GR Engineering claims it is owed $9.9 million for outstanding work completed, while Eastern is counterclaiming its rights to damages and costs for GR Engineering’s alleged breach of contract.

When asked if it was GR Engineering employees holding the protest next week, managing director Geoff Jones told Business News the company had no information on the events that may unfold.

Eastern poured first gold at Davyhurst last week, marking the first time the operation has produced gold since 2008.

A separate protest was also flagged by Diggers & Dealers’ organisers as a strong possibility, with a group protesting Aboriginal justice issues planning to set up outside the Goldfields Art Centre at some stage of the conference.

“This is a lawful protest and the group are entitled to make their point so long as they don’t interfere with Diggers & Dealers and we anticipate they will respect this,” event representatives said.

 

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