Padbury Mining says it is not ready to reveal the name of the investor who has agreed to fund the $6 billion Oakajee port and rail project, pushing the planned announcement to Thursday.
Padbury said the $6 billion needed to build the port and rail infrastructure in the mid-west region had come from Australian private equity partners that want to remain anonymous.
However the ASX demanded answers after shares in Padbury rose 170 per cent after the announcement.
The company has been in a trading halt since Friday.
Despite industry chatter around the viability of the massive project amid concerns around its engineering plan and Padbury’s small iron ore deposit, managing director Gary Stokes said the announcement was legitimate.
“We wouldn’t have made an announcement on the ASX if it wasn’t,” he said. “We’ve been working on this for quite some time — this is not new,” he told The Australian.
“We have been very much about under-announcing and over-delivering. There is a lot of cynicism there — some of it healthy, some not so healthy.”
Stokes says there are 21 companies in WA’s mid-west region that needed a port to export their resources from.
“Some of them are exporting (from Geraldton) but Geraldton is not going to be sustainable for them in the longer term,” Stokes explained.
“On a good day in Geraldton you can get a 66,000-tonne ship in. We’re taking about 240,000-tonne ships.”
Funding for the project will come in three tranches with the first delivering $US470 million ($501.2 million) to complete design and construction plans.