Nelson investors have been left $2 million out of pocket after a former bankrupt Robert James Cottle promised them lucrative returns as part of a Colombian opencast goldmining scheme that never eventuated.
Infratech Mining Ltd was put into liquidation by by a creditor, Mr Lindsay Newton, on 26 June 2015 after a defended court hearing in the Nelson High Court. Newton loaned the company $200,000 in short term funds and was offered shares in lieu of interest. The Official Assignee was appointed liquidator by the High Court.
The company’s sole director was Robert James Cottle and he set up the company on 18 February 2009, just days after he was discharged from a February 2006 bankruptcy.
Infratech, which records its premises on the Companies Office website,as 5 Duncan Street, Port Nelson, Nelson, 7010, New Zealand, was seeking to raise US$100 million to build a gold and platinum mine in Colombia. Company documents prepared in 2009, pitching for $9m from shareholders, claimed investors could see annual returns of 1000 per cent. Robert James Cottle claimed the mine could produce 428,000 ounces of gold annually resulting in profits of more than $100m.
The Liquidation report dated 30 July 2015 prepared by the Official Assignee revealed that $1.9m had been raised from shareholders, mostly from the Nelson region, along with total claims by creditors of $4.3m.
The report said that investigations to date revealed the company had no assets in New Zealand. A vehicle owned by the company is secured and being repossessed by the security holder. The report also said that Cottle had confirmed the company had no assets and that it has no gold mines or mining licences in Columbia. Cottle said in the report that the “company held rights of assignment for mining licenses in Columbia but these have now lapsed with company in liquidation”.
Last year the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) issued a warning to shareholders about the company.
The warning noted that Infratech did not have a registered prospectus or investment statement and the regulation also flagged “concerns about Infratech’s purported ownership of mining licences [in Colombia] and about inconsistent statements that the company has made about these licences”.
Robert James Cottle could not be reached by Stuff News for comment.
Robert James Cottle is recorded on the Companies Office Register as currently the sole director of Sceptre Minerals Ltd which was incorporated on 25 August 2003. It has its premises are recorded as at 5 Mcglashen Avenue, Richmond, Richmond, 7020 , New Zealand. Its registered office and Cottle’s “residential address” are both recorded as 1 Norrie Place, Annesbrook, Nelson, 7011, New Zealand. It is owned by Infratech Group Ltd which is owned by Robert James Cottle and Julia Norah Cottle, 1 Norrie Place, Annesbrook, Nelson. Robert James Cottle is recorded as the sole director.
Liquidator’s Report dated 30 July 2015