Atlantic workers unpaid as finance deal incomplete

Employees for vanadium producer Atlantic are still waiting for four weeks’ worth of wages as a finance deal with the company’s majority shareholder awaits finalisation.

Atlantic’s chief Michael Minosora confirmed the company had failed to pay its 200 workers wages due on February 14 following several financial difficulties at the company.

The Australian reports workers’ wages remained unpaid as of yesterday.

Last week Atlantic's wholly owned subsidiary, Midwest Vanadium, failed to meet a deadline to pay $5m to bondholders sparking questions of insolvency.

However Atlantic has denied it is on the verge of collapse, announcing a $32.6 million debt deal with its biggest shareholder Droxford International.

It said it expected to receive a $3.6m advance on the debt facility "in the very near term to allow it to meet immediate commitments”, stating it was working through the necessary documentation.

Minosora said the company was waiting on the clearance of funds into its account.

It has been a tumultuous start to year for the miner with a fire at its plant in Windimurra, about 500km north of Perth, causing $100 million worth of damage.

Production at the site is expected to be suspended for more than nine months as the company works to rebuild the facility.

Atlantic shares have been in a trading halt since the fire on February 5, however the company last month flagged it was considering legal action against the plant’s previous owner after encountering continued problems at its crushing, milling and beneficiation facility.

The miner acquired the mineral processing plant from Mineral Resources, and since that time states it has “spent in excess of $20 million to date rectifying issues in the CMB plant and suffered significant losses due to the problems arising from the plant, estimated to be in excess of $100 million”.

Heaping more pressure on the miner are revelations it owes the Clean Energy Regulator $998,000 in carbon tax payments for 2012-13.

The regulator said it was considering legal action against the company as it plans to pursue the debt.


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