PR firm battles coal client

THE decade-long relationship between flak catchers Professional Public Relations and Peter Landau has come crashing down, with PPR seeking to wind up suspended South African=-focused Continental Coal and several other explorers recently.
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Haydn Black

PPR petitioned the Supreme Court of Western Australia to wind up Continental, junior oiler Citation Resources and minerals explorer and treasure hunter Black Mountain Resources, with hearings to be held later this month.

However, Continental said it had resolved the matters prior to the relevant hearing.

“The company is finalising a comprehensive update on all key matters for release next week following the progression of certain events and looks forward to updating stakeholders accordingly,” the company said on Friday.

After some backroom discussions Landau has apparently agreed to a process where the application will be withdrawn for Black Mountain and Citation.

All of Landau’s companies are now expected to sign with a new PR firm.

PPR executive director Peter Harris told International Coal News the legal action relates to long outstanding debts owed by Citation and Black Mountain.

“PPR is hopeful the outstanding debts will be paid prior to Tuesday, September 15," he said.

Harris did not want to discuss the size of the debts.

Continental, which has been suspended from trading in June, owns thermal coal production in South Africa and at one point had three mines: Penumbra, Vlakvarkfontein and Ferreira, producing 2.2Mtpa of thermal coal for the export and domestic markets and plans for a fourth operation, adding 3.6Mtpa from the De Wittekrans operation.

The company is in the process of selling its operations.

Citation has oil and gas interest in Guatemala and Texas, both projects associated with Landau’s former flagship, Range Resources, although more recently it has considered an investment in a technology to turn waste tyres into liquid fuels, for which it intends to raise $6.1 million this month.

Citation had just $449,000 in cash at the end of the last quarter and debts of $1.75 million.

Black Mountain, which cancelled its listing on London’s Alternative Investment Market earlier this year, is seeking to raise up to $6.8 million for drilling of its Conjecture silver project in the US and to take a 20% stake in a speculative salvage operation, looking to recover gold and silver believed to be in two World War One shipwrecks off the coast of Ireland.

Its New Departure silver mine is on care and maintenance due to the low silver price.

Black Mountain had just $67,000 in cash at the end of the last quarter.

Laundu’s Okap Capital has two other troubled resources companies, Ausroc Metals and Kaboko Mining, both of which are suspended from trading on the Australian Securities Exchange.

Okap also has a relationship with International Goldfields, a company making a move into the hemp and cannabis business. PPR national director David Tasker, formerly Landau’s main PR contact, is a director of that company.