Banking on Ebenezer

HONG Kong-controlled Coalbank has promised to quickly revive the Ebenezer coal mine 10km southwest of Ipswich if its $A10 million cash offer for the mine is successful.

Blair Price

“Should the company be able to satisfactorily complete the transaction, it would look to bring the mine back into operation at the earliest economic opportunity,” Coalbank chairman Anthony Chan will say at the annual general meeting later this week, according to an announcement released yesterday.

“The company will keep both the market and all shareholders updated on the progress of this acquisition.

“The company remains positive with regard to the outlook for coal investments supported by the future energy requirements throughout the Asian region.”

Two weeks ago Coalbank struck a binding term sheet with Zedemar Holdings to acquire the idled thermal coal mine with the $10 million offer also including a deal to pay Zedemar a royalty of $1 per saleable tonne of coal produced from the two Ebenezer mining licences with this capped at 20 million tonnes ($20 million).

OGL Resources was last interested in buying this mine from privately owned Zedemar, but two landowners stymied that deal from being completed through various legal challenges to an Ebenezer mining licence renewal.

The last appeal to the High Court of Australia was rejected in February.

“The acquisition agreements the company had entered into and that had been the focus of the company’s expenditure from May 2011 has lapsed,” OGL later said in its 2013 annual report.

“The company is currently reviewing its position regarding this project.”

Australia-listed Coalbank, which was partially acquired (62.34%) by Hong Kong-based Loyal Strategic Investment a year ago, needs to secure enough financing plus receive Foreign Investment Review Board approval to complete the Ebenezer transaction.

The mine, which was put on care and maintenance during the low coal price times of 2003, has 13.7Mt of probable reserves and 308.2Mt of resources, with most of it inferred (284.1Mt).

Coalbank said the coal quality was of a high grade thermal coal, with energy values of about 6700 kilocalories per kilogram.