Carnaged contractor enters VA

CARNA Group, which was the operator of the Lanco Infratech-owned Griffin thermal coal mine in Western Australia until payment disputes came to a head in early December, has entered voluntary administration.
Carnaged contractor enters VA Carnaged contractor enters VA Carnaged contractor enters VA Carnaged contractor enters VA Carnaged contractor enters VA

Courtesy Griffin Coal

Blair Price

The Carna family-owned company terminated its Griffin arrangements on December 3 and claimed this was following “non-receipt of contracted payments”.

In appointing FTI Consulting as administrators last week, Carna managing director Harry Carna said the company was needed to assist in dealing with Griffin.

“This is not a decision we have taken lightly, but given the impact of the Griffin Coal Mine contract and subsequent disputes, the reality is this was a decision we had to take to protect the future of the business,”Carna said.

FTI Consulting senior managing director Ian Francis said detailed discussions will be held with all stakeholders in the coming weeks ahead.

“Carna is a business with a substantial successful operational history that has been impacted significantly by a single contract,” he said.

“In the period ahead we will seek to preserve as much of this value as possible.”

While there around 300 workers at the Griffin mine last year, with Carna pulling its workforce offsite at least four times due to payment disputes in the latter half of 2014, Carna had 119 employees as of last week.

Meanwhile, Lanco is attempting to cut salaries and work rosters during ongoing enterprise agreement negotiations.

The Indian conglomerate acquired the Bluewaters Power station-linked Griffin mine, a key part of former coal tycoon Ric Stowe’s failed business empire, in 2011.

In June it finally received state government approval to develop a $500 million export facility in Bunbury which would allow it to ramp up production to 15 million tonnes per annum.

Carna’s fleet included Caterpillar scrapers, graders, dozers, compactors, dump trucks, loaders and water carts while it also had four different weight classes of excavators.

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