West Coast coking coal mine developer Bathurst Resources
placed its shares in a trading halt yesterday, in anticipation
of announcing a successful capital raising this morning.
Bathurst lodged details of the placement on the ASX, but only
gave notice of a trading halt on the NZX, saying a
competitive bookbuild was under way which would amount to 10%
to 12% of Bathurst's capital at a discount of between 15% and
20%, the upper limits raising potentially $6.8 million.
From a share-price high of $1.74 in April 2011, Bathurst
shares spent most of last year under 20c and since February
have plunged further, trading about 8.2c yesterday, giving
the company a market capitalisation of $67.4 million.
Craigs Investment Partners broker Peter McIntyre said
Bathurst would be seeking to raise $6.5 million-$7 million.
''That and revenue from its other three [South Island] mines
should be enough to get them through at least the next 18 to
24 months of care and maintenance,'' Mr McIntyre said of the
stalled work on the Denniston Plateau, above Westport.
After two years of legal challenges by environmentalists over
Bathurst's consents, which held up the start of mining
production around Denniston, Bathurst was in late February
forced to postpone starting plateau operations after global
coal prices fell to an uneconomic $US120 ($NZ138) per tonne.
Bathurst said in a market update last month, under existing
contracts, its domestic business could operate on a
cash-positive basis through to 2016-17.
Domestic annual production was about 400,000 tonnes, with
average production cash costs per tonne $75 to $85, while
customer contract prices were in an average range of $105 to
$115 per tonne, Bathurst said.
As at February, it had spent more than $300 million in
acquisitions and mine development, held less than $9 million
cash in hand and was forced to lay off staff and cut
Its cash flows are restricted to three South Island boutique
Bathurst raised $18.9 million last September.