Nick Jorss from Bowen Coking Coal.
Nick Jorss from Bowen Coking Coal.

Miner who turned $1 into $1b asset

THE man who invested $1 in a struggling Queensland coal mine five years ago and turned it into a billion dollar asset is hoping to repeat his success in the Bowen Basin.

Nick Jorss as head of Stanmore Coal paid a dollar for the mothballed Isaac Plains coalmine in 2015 before transforming into an operation employing hundreds of workers.

Now as a director of ASX-listed Bowen Coking Coal, Mr Jorss is part of a team that has raised $2.25 million to buy the Broadmeadow East mine that has been dubbed "Stanmore Mark II."

Bowen acquired the mine from Peabody for $1 million in cash and up to $1.5 million in coal royalties. The acquisition comes with access to a coal handling plant and rail access.

The mine, located about 25 kilometres northeast of Moranbah within the Central Bowen Basin, will employ about 200 people.

Nick Jorss from Bowen Coking Coal.
Nick Jorss from Bowen Coking Coal.

"We are looking to build a mid-tier operation and we believe we are the right team to do it," said Mr Jorss. "We like to find mines, get them up and running and make money from them. We like assets that are depressed."

After raising funds for the transaction, Bowen hopes to be in production within two years. Former Stanmore chairman Neville Sneddon now chairs Bowen while Stephen Bizzell, a co-founding director of Stanmore, has become an investor in Bowen through the capital raising.

Mr Jorss said that with governments around the world boosting infrastructure spending to overcome the pandemic economic slump, he hoped demand for coking coal would be at buoyant level when production at the mine starts in about 18 months.

Bowen managing director Gerhard Redelinghuys said Broadmeadow East was the most advanced
project within the company's current portfolio of coking coal development projects.

"This reflects the board's desire to transform the company from a developer to producer as soon as possible," said Mr Redelinghuys.


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