Delta goes into administration

THE underground coal contracting industry has received another blow with a voluntary administrator being appointed to Delta SBD.
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Lou Caruana

The status of several key projects Delta is involved in are now in doubt. This includes a whole-of-mine contract at Wollongong Coal’s Wongawilli underground mine in New South Wales’ Illawarra region.

GrantThornton’s John McInerney and Said Jahani were appointed joint and several administrators of the group on May 31. 

“The administrators are undertaking an urgent assessment of the business to identify steps that may be taken to stabilise the business,” Delta said in an announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

The Construction, Foresty, Mining and Energy Union has expressed concern over the security of the employees entitlements, with about 300 workers in the Illawarra alone at Wongawilli, South32’s Appin mine and Peabody Energy’s Metropolitan mine and also employees at projects in the Hunter Valley and Queensland.   

Wollongong Coal yesterday requested a trading halt for its shares on the ASX and there is concern that it might have to wind back the troubled Wongawilli operation.  

CFMEU district vice-president Bob Timbs told the Illawarra Mercury that there was a lot of service and a lot of entitlements tied up in Delta.

“We’ve known for a while they had cash-flow problems but we hadn’t realised it was this bad,” Timbs reportedly said.

“It did come as a bit of a shock to us – the company certainly kept it close to their chest.”

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