Pike River Coal owes $110 million

The first report on the financial state of the Pike River Coal mine has been released, and receivers say the total debt is around $110 million.

More than half of that figure is owed to major shareholder New Zealand Oil and Gas, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers, which took control of the mine in December.

Almost $30 million is owed to unsecured creditors, but they are unlikely to be paid.

About half of those claims are from unsecured tradespeople.

When receivers were appointed, Pike River held just over $10 million in cash reserve, and since then 5 000 tonnes of stockpiled coal has been sold.

PricewaterhouseCoopers says it has received interest from companies both in New Zealand and overseas wanting to buy the mine’s assets.

Receiver John Fisk said this week their focus is on stabilising the mine for when police officially hand  it over to receivers, with no date confirmed as yet.

Last month it announced that it would continue the recovery efforts for up to eight weeks, after police abandoned their operations.

The New Zealand Business Review is reporting that the country’s Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) has suffered double loss after the tragedy.

Compensation for the families of the 29 miners killed in the disaster is expected to cost ACC as much as $20 million, and it looks set to lose almost as much from its shareholding in the mining company.

ACC had about 17 million shares in Pike River Coal, making it the fourth largest shareholder.

Before trading in the shares was suspended on 19 November, following the first explosion, Pike River Coal was trading at 88 cents a share.

Image: The Australian

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