The company, which Lewis says bore the brunt of the decision by the NSW government to follow the advice of the Independent Commission Against Corruption - despite the company being innocent - has resolved to not lie down and accept the decision.
“We intend to fight for the rights of our shareholders as well as progress other projects and also seek to acquire additional projects both interstate and overseas,” Lewis told ILN.
“We are a small company so don’t have high overheads, so the cash will last well into 2015.”
Lewis estimates the company also has other assets such as land worth more than $8 million, including the Dellworth and Savoy Hill leases.
The state government last week passed legislation that removed NuCoal’s licence as well as that for Cascade Coal’s Mt Penny and Glendon Brook leases.
Another feature of the legislation is that it takes from NuCoal all its accumulated exploration data, which was obtained via the expenditure of over $40 million, and gives the state the right to provide this data to new bidders for the Doyles Creek area when it puts the area back out to tender.
“We believe [this] will invariably happen given the quality of the coal resources at Doyles Creek,” Lewis said.
“In other words, the government has legislated that it can sell information which it has usurped from an innocent party and sell it to other parties.
“NuCoal strongly refutes the ICAC's findings that NuCoal did not acquire EL 7270 [Doyles Creek] as a bona fide purchaser for value without notice of the alleged corruption.
“NuCoal did not have, and could not have had, any knowledge of the alleged corruption which was found by the ICAC.
“Until the ICAC's findings, the validity of EL 7270 was confirmed by numerous sources, including an independent probity report from O'Connor Marsden.
“No question was ever raised by regulatory bodies such as the ASX and ASIC. Despite these facts, the ICAC found that NuCoal acquired EL 7270 with knowledge of the alleged corruption found by the ICAC some three years after the acquisition.
“NuCoal has been denied the opportunity to vindicate its position in a judicial forum.”
Lewis said it was not believable that the legislation represented the only method available to the government to stamp out corruption.
“By the special legislation, the government will effectively penalise NuCoal in the absence of any proper court examination of the facts and any adverse judicial pronouncement,” he said.