Company making transaction this week.
HAIL Creek project hangs on the outcome of Anglo’s Dartbrook sale in NSW
Wednesday 08 February 2017
The future of some Central Queensland coal tenements will be clearer by the end of this week, with their owner Australian Pacific Coal (APC) set to finalise a deal with Anglo American to buy the Dartbrook thermal coal mine in the NSW Hunter Valley.
APC has coal tenements around Clermont and Dingo - and most notably - the Hillalong tenement adjacent to Hail Creek mine west of Mackay.
However, those projects have not progressed much in the last two years with APC focussing their efforts on the Dartbrook Mine which they opportunistically purchased at what nows looks like the cyclical bottom of the coal market in 2016.
According to APC, the Dartbrook Mine, which is currently in care and maintenance, will be restarted as soon as possible, enabling them to capitalise on resurgent coal prices and transition them from a coal explorer with no revenue, to a coal miner with cash flow.
“Dartbrook is a tier 1 asset, strategically located and well equipped with existing infrastructure and facilities,” they said.
“ On 24 May 2016, the company announced its coal resource estimate of 1.2 billion tonnes at Dartbrook (466 million tonnes measured, 449 million tonnes indicated and 294 million tonnes inferred).
“As concerns about greenhouse gas emissions increase, the company believes that high-quality thermal coal will remain one of the core sources for energy production.”
In 2015, APC did a significant amount of drilling on the Hillalong tenement under a joint venture with Rio Tinto. Under the JV, Rio Tinto had the option to take a majority stake in the deposit if they were happy with the drilling results.
However, for reasons more to do with the collapse in the coal market than the drilling results, Rio Tinto chose to walk away from the deal, nearly forcing APC into administration.
That outcome was narrowly averted by high profile resources investor Nathan Tinkler and Trepang services - a company owned by the wealthy Northern Territory based Paspaley and Robinson families - who bought 54 million shares for just under $210,000.
Since that time however, Nathan Tinkler has been forced out of the company’s management structure because of his declaration of bankruptcy, although relatives Leslie Norman Tinkler & Zelda Irene Tinkler still hold around 15 percent of the company's shares.
In the absence of any other income, APC has managed to keep itself afloat and put up around $25 million to secure the Anglo mine sale thanks to complicated secured loans from the Paspaley and Robinson families.
The interest paid on the loaned money is set at 10%, with a date set for the future repayment of capital. The loans can also be converted into shares in APC at the strike price of $0.015.In the last year, shares in APC have traded as high as $0.048 and as low as $0.002. This week they are trading around $0.018.