Wiggins Island cops $500 million blow as Cockatoo croaks

WIGGINS Island Coal Export Terminal owners are $500m worse off after one of the initial owners Cockatoo Coal went into administration in November.

Cockatoo Coal also had $20 million and $450 million owing to Gladstone Ports Corporation and Aurizon respectively.

The three creditors look set to receive $25,000 through Cockatoo's restructuring agreed on last week.

The deed of company arrangement from part owner Boston based mining company Liberty Metals and Mining includes a $6 million cash subscription and $100 million debt facility.

The arrangement does not guarantee WICET, Gladstone Ports Corporation and Aurizon will be paid out their contracts.

Cockatoo's contract with WICET from 2011 was for 3mtpa of coal while still exporting through RG Tanna Coal Terminal.

Cockatoo never reached that capacity with chairman Peter Richards stating in the October 27 annual report it remained on target to "ramp-up in output from 1mtpa to 3.5mtpa by 2017".

But a month later the coal miner had gone into administration.

WICET chief executive officer Marcus McAuliffe would not comment on Cockatoo Coal.

"WICET was established with a robust legal and financial structure which has been designed to accommodate changing circumstances," he said.

"In the case of financial impairment of any particular shareholder, further support is provided by contracted commitments from all its continuing shareholders and their parents to assume any shortfall in recovery of WICET's ongoing financing and operating costs which may arise.

"WICET is constantly and independently reviewing options to ensure the best outcomes for WICET and its shareholders."

The owners are Glencore Coal, Wesfarmers Resources, Yancoal Australia, Aquila Resources, Northern Energy Corporation and Caledon Resources.


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