A disgraced businessman has lodged two bids to explore massive tracts of Margaret River and Cowaramup for potential mining. Rogue stock promoter David Alan Zohar, who was jailed for 14 months in 2014 for three counts of giving false and misleading information to the Australian Securities Exchange filed applications for two mining exploration licences with WA’s Department of Mines last month. The Times can confirm the areas covered by the bids include most of the stretch between Margaret River’s townsite and Prevelly and a big section between Cowaramup and Busselton. A Mines spokesman said the law did not require the applications to go to public comment and approvals would be decided within the next six months. The applications also did not trigger the State Government’s moratorium on a 240sqkm ban centred on Osmington because the prospector was not looking for coal. Under WA’s laws the specific minerals under investigation do not have to be revealed but Mr Zohar has a history with aluminium through bauxite extraction and other options included mineral sands, lithium and gold. Mr Zohar is listed as the director of exploration company Lithium Lakes, formed in October 2019, but the website was down for maintenance this week and no contact details were available. An industry source who asked not to be named said the exploration could just be an attempt to add credentials for the new company. The source said it would be difficult for any miner to undertake further work because individual access was needed with individual landowners who might not be keen on helping any mining operation get a leg up. Mr Zohar pleaded guilty in 2014 after misleading the ASX during the botched float of Aluminex Resources. The veteran promoter was left facing personal financial losses and embarrassment with his backers after Aluminex fell about $500,000 short on a $2.6 million capital raising. Rather than admit the shortfall, the District Court found Mr Zohar issued shares to suppliers as contra payment and gave the ASX a list with 24 fictitious investors to achieve the required 400 shareholders. Two other directors of Aluminex put the company into administration in November 2008, just two months after the company was floated. Mr Zohar was investigated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission and that led to him being charged in 2012. Lawyers for Mr Zohar at the time asked he be spared prison and put forward psychiatric reports about him suffering a serious mental illnesses.