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Who is behind the Blair Athol proposal...and what do they know?
Wednesday 06 July 2016
Cameron McRae, the man behind the well publicised possible sale of the Blair Athol coal mine to TerraCom has re-positioned himself as Executive Chairman this week so he can have a greater management involvement in the project.
Mr Cameron has extensive experience in the Central Queensland coal sector, having been General Manager of Business Development for Rio Tinto Coal for nearly three years up to 2004, followed by a two-year stint as General Manager of the Hail Creek expansion project up until 2006.
In announcing the restructure, Mr McRae acknowledged that it had been a "terrible" three year period for the coal sector but was optimistic the worst was behind them.
“In early June I accepted an invitation to become Chairman of the Board of TerraCom Limited," he said.
"Last week it was announced to the ASX that I had been appointed Executive Chairman as part of a reorganisation of the senior management team.
“This reorganisation will better equip TerraCom to tackle the major tasks associated with growing the company into a global mid-tier resource player.
“Many well-run “icon” companies are now facing bankruptcy or going through debt restructuring. For TerraCom the good news is that the balance sheet repair is largely behind us, and we have exciting growth projects in front of us.”
Mr McRae’s insider knowledge of the possibilities of the Blair Athol mine from his time at Rio Tinto will give confidence to investors that what they are trying to achieve is possible.
As has been well documented, the proposed transaction involves a nominal one dollar payment to Rio Tinto in return for taking on the project’s costs and liabilities. Although Rio Tinto has also stumped up $80 million to meet the rehabilitation requirements of the mine.
However despite the headlines, the real cost of getting Blair Athol back operating will be in the tens of millions - if the experience of Stanmore at Isaac Plains is anything to go by where they have spent for than $30 million getting to this point.If the proposed sale is approved, and if the mine is restarted, Terra Com say there could be more than 100 jobs generated which will be a real shot in the arm for Clermont.