Phoenix Coal exiting industry

KENTUCKY producer Phoenix Coal has successfully divested all of its coal assets, transitioning its focus to other natural resources, and will now be known as Elgin Mining.
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A Phoenix facility working to load coal. Courtesy Phoenix Coal.

Donna Schmidt

Board chairman Robert Buchan has been elected chief executive officer of the newly reformulated company.

“Over the course of the last several months, Phoenix has been in the process of selling its coal assets as part of an initiative to redeploy its capital in other areas of the natural resources and mining sectors,” the company said this week.

The divestitures were completed through three transactions, the first commencing last September when all of Phoenix’s surface coal mining assets were sold to Ohio-based producer Oxford Mining in a $US32.2 million deal.

Last month, Phoenix sold its Panama South reserves in a $10 million cash transaction to an undisclosed major US coal producer and, earlier this month, inked a definitive agreement with a still unidentified coal producer for the sale of its Gryphon reserve and assets for $23 million in cash.

On the closing of the Gryphon transaction, Phoenix will have an estimated $56.2 million in restricted and unrestricted cash resulting from the divestitures.

Phoenix Coal’s shift to Elgin Mining is pending shareholder approval, but meantime the company will immediately install Buchan into his new role as chairman, president and CEO.

Previous CEO David Wiley will now work in an advisory role on an as-needed basis to help facilitate the transition of the company out of the coal industry.

“Having exited the coal business, divested of the associated encumbrances, and increased its cash balance, the company reports it is positioned to selectively evaluate and acquire assets that will potentially create more value for shareholders in the near term,” officials said.

“Management and the board cite the prevalent existence of opportunities in the global resource sector in which the company's capital may be redeployed.”

The board will remain the same, and has committed to finding opportunities that will “replace the lost value that occurred in the last two years” for the company.

The company has scheduled an annual and special meeting with shareholders in Toronto on April 28.

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