The Wilkie Creek marketing challenge

BROKER RFC Ambrian has recently started marketing an 80% stake in Exergen subsidiary Sekitan Resources, which agreed to buy the Wilkie Creek coal mine from Peabody Energy for $US75 million ($A101.6 million) earlier this month.
The Wilkie Creek marketing challenge The Wilkie Creek marketing challenge The Wilkie Creek marketing challenge The Wilkie Creek marketing challenge The Wilkie Creek marketing challenge

 

Blair Price

Last week it was seeking firm commitments from potential investors to buy this initial 80% shareholding by spending up to $A30 million.

RFC said this consisted of $20 million of initial funding and an ongoing contribution of $10 million between financial close and “first coal sales to fund start-up capital expenditure and existing port take-or-pay obligations”.

However, the need for further investment was flagged.

“It is envisaged that the equity holder(s) would collectively assist in securing $A40 million of bank guarantees to be used as environmental and port bonding obligations,” RFC said.

Under the plans Exergen will also hold the option to lift its Sekitan stake from 20% to up to 40% at financial close by subscribing for $10 million worth of new Sekitan shares.

The restart of production at the Surat Basin-based surface thermal coal mine is targeting the March quarter of 2016 at a rate of 3 million tonnes per annum.

Cash costs were estimated at $A69 a tonne versus the $110/t under Peabody’s previous 2.4Mtpa mining rate at Wilkie Creek.

Given that Newcastle exported spot thermal coal prices have fallen below $60/t of late, a feasible restart of Wilkie Creek would hinge on the expansion opportunities.

“Wilkie Creek is capable of producing in excess of 5Mtpa and is well placed to utilise any spare or additional infrastructure capacity to export via the Port of Brisbane,” RFC said.

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