NuCoal lodges Doyles Creek renewal application

NUCOAL Resources has lodged a renewal application for its Doyles Creek Exploration Licence with the New South Wales Department of Mining – as the state’s independent watchdog prepares to launch an inquiry into the controversial lease granting by former minerals and energy minister Ian Macdonald.

Lou Caruana
NuCoal lodges Doyles Creek renewal application

NuCoal, which held its annual general meeting in Sydney yesterday, received shareholder approval to issue shares to raise capital to further develop the Doyles Creek project, despite the upcoming inquiry by the Independent Commission Against Corruption and a share price that has plunged to an all-time low of 10c.

The company’s market capitalisation is now just $85 million, even though a joint venture agreement with Japanese group Mitsui Matsushima International values Doyles Creek at $360 million.

NuCoal managing director Glen Lewis reportedly told the meeting that the exploration licence was granted on December 15, 2008, and was valid for four years and that there was no ''sunset clause'', according to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald.

''[The EL] remains in force while ever you have a valid renewal application before the government,” he reportedly said.

''In my experience, of 33 years in the industry, I've seen EL renewals normally take 6 months … the worst case would be 18 months. So it's business as usual, you just continue to follow the conditions of the EL, while the government go through the renewal process.''

Premier Barry O’Farrell had ruled out a push by the Greens and the Labor party to revoke licenses that were found to be improperly approved as the ICAC inquiry continues into the granting of exploration licenses to Cascade Coal for Mt Penny by Macdonald..

Former Labor power broker Eddie Obeid is alleged to have been a major beneficiary of the granting of the Mt Penny licence.

“Operation Acacia” is investigating circumstances surrounding an invitation extended to Doyles Creek to apply for an exploration licence, the circumstances surrounding the allocation of an exploration licence to Doyles Creek and the condition surrounding profits made by the shareholders of NuCoal Resources.

Acacia will also examine whether a recommendation should be made to the NSW government with respect to licenses or leases over the Doyles Creek area and whether the government should start legal proceedings against anyone in relation to this.

Lewis emphasised the progress of the Doyles Creek project over the past 12 months.

“The Project Overview document has been submitted to the NSW Department of Planning and Infrastructure for the Doyles Creek Project,” he said. “Director General’s requirements were received in May 2012 and the EIS [environmental impact statement] is currently underway,” he said.

“The Doyles Creek Project Prefeasibility Study was completed on time and within budget.”

NuCoal successfully raised $29 million on March 1 via placement and a further $6.3 million via an SPP in April.


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