Business as usual as NuCoal moves to raise equity
NUCOAL Resources has won approval from its shareholders to raise fresh equity but uncertainty over the outcome of the New South Wales corruption inquiry hangs over the company's projects.
At the annual meeting in Sydney yesterday resolutions were passed allowing NuCoal to issue new shares, up to an additional 25 per cent, although chief executive Glen Lewis said the company was ''well funded through until 2014'' after raising $35.3 million earlier this year, and should soon receive an injection of about $7 million from Japanese farm-in partner Mitsui Matsushima.
The NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption is investigating the grant of coal permits by the previous Labor state government, including over the Doyles Creek project, and there are calls they should be revoked, which were rejected on the weekend by Premier Barry O'Farrell.
Mr Lewis said NuCoal had recently lodged a renewal application for the Doyles Creek Exploration Licence (EL) 7270 with the Department of Mining.
Asked by one shareholder whether the corruption inquiry could have an impact on the renewal, Mr Lewis said while the EL was granted on 15 December 2008 and was valid for four years, there was no ''sunset clause''.
''[The EL] remains in force while ever you have a valid renewal application before the government.
''In my experience, of 33 years in the industry, I've seen EL renewals normally take 6 months … the worst case would be 18 months. So it's business as usual, you just continue to follow the conditions of the EL, while the government go through the renewal process.''
One analyst, speaking off the record, said there was no suggestion NuCoal's board or shareholders had done anything wrong, comparing their acquisition of the Doyles Creek tenement to a used car deal.
''They've bought a car. Did they buy a stolen car from somebody else? We don't know that yet.''
NuCoal shares closed down 0.5¢ or 4.3 per cent to 11¢ on Tuesday.