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Flannery backs coal's resurgence as Bowen plans transformation

Business

The Queensland coal sector is in the middle of a major resurgence highlighted by billionaire Brian Flannery and his decision to throw his fortune behind Bowen Coking Coal.

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Bowen has struck a deal to buy New Hope’s Lenton joint venture, which includes the shuttered Burton mine and the Lenton project, for an estimated $77 million.

Bowen’s shares jumped 14 per cent on the Wednesday announcement.

Bowen now aims to restart production at the Burton, Broadmeadow East and also Isaac River  within a year of the deal’s completion, but was hoping to fast track Broadmeadow East so that it was producing within six months.

It comes as Whitehaven called for submissions on the draft EIS for the $1 billion Winchester South coal project. QCoal has also re-opened the Cook Colliery and Stanmore Resources recently earned a mining lease for its expansion of the Isaac Downs coal project.

Bravus continues to move ahead with its Carmichael development and Pembroke has started work on its Olive Downs coal project.

Coal prices have also surged as much as 90 per cent since the start of the year.

But activists have signalled a fight was coming, particularly for Whitehaven’s Winchester project, which Lock the Gate said would produce thermal and coking coal and would have a major impact on groundwater.

The Bowen acquisition will be funded through a $15 million equity raising, including a $7 million placement to rich lister developer Brian Flannery, who made much of his fortune from the $3.5 billion sale of Felix Resources in 2009. He has also moved on to developing luxury resorts at Byron Bay and Kirra.

A $5.4 million rights issue will be underwritten by Flannery and Matt Latimore, a Bowen director and founder of M Resources.

Bowen will also issue 30 million options to Flannery, Lattimore and Petra Capital at 10 cents and with a three-year expiry.

Following completion of the deal, Flannery’s family office, Iwella, will hold an 8.6 per cent stake in Bowen plus 21 million options which could lift his stake to 9.9 per cent.

The deal will give Bowen a 90 per cent stake in the project which it said could restart mining with 12 months of the completion of the deal. The remaining 10 per cent is owned by Taiwan’s Formosa Plastics Group.

Bowen will pay New Hope $20 million up front and up to $7.5 million in deferred milestone payments linked to both production ramp-up and time-based payments, plus up to $70 million in “predominantly price-linked royalty payments” on its share of production.

Executive chairman Nick Jorss said the deal would be transformational for Bowen.

He said it was an exciting opportunity to materially increase current planned coal production around the northern Bowen Basin processing hub for our nearby projects. It would

The deal acquisition will be funded through a $15 million equity raising, including a $7 million placement to rich lister developer Brian Flannery.

A $5.4 million rights issue will be underwritten by Flannery and Matt Latimore.

The deal will give Bowen a 90 per cent stake in the project which it said could restart mining with 12 months of the completion of the deal. The remaining 10 per cent is owned by Taiwan’s Formosa Plastics Group.

The deal adds to a significant spike in the coal sector with prices surging since earlier this year. QCoal also last week announced the restart of the Cook Colliery. It would utilise extensive infrastructure that came with the acquisition, including a wash plant and load out facility and haul road.

“We look forward to bringing the Burton brand back to the seaborne market as we play our part in supply this critical mineral into the steel industry as steel demand looks set to grow substantially through to 2050,” Jorss said.

“The acquisition presents a great opportunity to generate substantial value for Bowen shareholders for many years to come.”

The Burton and Lenton projects would increase it resources from 322 million tonnes to 505 million tonnes

 

 

 

 

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