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Queensland business briefs: Your daily Sunshine State update


The latest business news on Stanmore, Anteotech, Genex, Michael Hill International, Propell, QPM, Orocobre, QSuper, SunSuper, Terracom

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Anteotech shares reached 30 cents today, the highest level since 2004, on the back of an approval earlier this week of its COVID-19 test kit, known as EuGeni, winning approval from European regulators.

The test kit allows for a rapid result and would be a new revenue stream for the company.

Stanmore in JV for Peabody mines

Stanmore Coal has entered a joint venture with MetRes (affiliated with M Resources) to buy the Millenium and Mavis Downs coal mines from Peabody for $1.25 million plus a royalty deal of $3.50 a tonne for a maximum five years if premium hard coking coal prices top $Us175 a tonne.

Stanmore said the mines were high-quality projects with combined resources of 37 million tonnes and reserves of 2 million tonnes.

The joint venture will also take on rehabilitation obligations of about $25 million with Peabody reimbursing $12.5 million of incurred rehab costs.

Genex reaches financial close

Renewable energy company Genex has reached financial close after completing all documentation on its 250 megawatt pumped hydro project in north Queensland.

Construction on the project is expected later this month.

The project has backing from Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency.

Jewellry still booming

Jewellry retailer Michael Hill International’s Covid-related surge has continued with its third quarter same-store sales up 16 per cent. Overall all stores the increase was 11 per cent.

Group margin increased 200 basis points with all markets showing strong results. Digital sales were up 70 per cent against the same period last year and 93 per cent on a year-to-date basis.

At the end of the quarter the company had $50 million in cash and has entered into a new financing facility jointly funded with ANZ and HSBC of $70 million. The fund is so far undrawn.


Propell lists at a premium

The latest Brisbane fintech to list on the ASX, Propell Holdings, saw its shares jump as much as 40 per cent from its listing price of 20 cents.

Propell raised $5 million in its IPO.

The company delivers digital financial solutions to small to medium businesses.

It plans to introduced buy-now-pay-later options, longer-term lines of credit, invoice financing and business forecasting tools.

At 3pm Propell shares were up 3 cents.


QPM swamped by acceptances

QPM will close its share purchase plan early after it said it had been overwhelmed with acceptances.

The company, which is planning a nickel refinery in Townsville, received acceptances for more than $5.7 million.

The funds will be used to complete a definitive feasibility study and progress approvals.

Managing director Stephen Grocott said the strong support was a positive signal to external parties.


Super awards

Both QSuper and Sunsuper have made the shortlist for Chant West’s super fund of the year and pension fund of the year.

The final list includes for the super fund award also includes Aware Super, CareSuper and Cbus.

The pension fund award includes AMP MyNorth, AustralianSuper, CFS FirstChoice Wholesale and UniSuper.

Lithium prices jump

Orocobre has forecast a massive hike in prices for lithium carbonate.

The Brisbane-based company announced sales of 3032 tonnes of lithium carbonate in the March quarter at an average price of $US5853 a tonne (free-on-board), but it tipped prices of $US7400 a tonne in the June quarter.

Pricing was up 50 per cent on the December quarter and 90 per cent higher than six months ago.

The company said the sales followed a campaign and strong market demand for the commodity from its Olaroz brine project in northern Argentina.

All budgeted production for 2022 was sold but new production would come on stream in the second half of next year.

Orocobre shares jumped almost 5 per cent on the announcement.


Terracom takes control

Terracom said it has re-established control over its South African coal mining operations to boost its financial performance and operational challenges.

Managing director Danny McCarthy has been in South Africa since late March and was carrying out an analysis of each operation.

He said there were significant improvements to be made and Terracom would not waste time in implementing changes.


Anteotech joins CRC

Anteotech has joined a “super anode project” in an agreement with the Future Batteries CRC.

The project is a four-year scheme aimed at developing materials, processes and cell-level technology to kickstart Australia’s battery industry.

Anteotech is one of nine research participants and was selected as an exclusive contributor of silicon composite materials fore refinement.

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