Bathurst rights issue fails to gain traction

A rights issue by West Coast mine developer Bathurst Resources has fallen flat, with just a 5% uptake on the offer.

In the 1:23 non-renounceable, pro-rata rights issue, up to 41.08 million shares were on offer, for a total $2.67 million, but just 2.1 million shares were taken up, worth less than $140,000.

Craigs Investments Partners broker Peter McIntyre said the pricing of the issue, at 6.5c per share, meant shareholders did not see a lot of value in its latest capital raising.

''Bathurst will be disappointed. But it wasn't a deep enough discount for shareholders, when the share was [already] tracking around 6.5c,'' Mr McIntyre said.

Bathurst shares were trading down about 2% at 5.1c, on light volume, following the company's market update on the issue yesterday.

The share price's high was $1.74 in April 2011, before the beginning of multiple court challenges to its granted consents, which dragged on for about two years and stalled the Denniston mine start-up.

Mr McIntyre said Bathurst has had to continually come back to the market place for capital.

In private and institutional capital raisings last September and April, Bathurst raised almost $27 million, and as of March had $10 million in cash and short-term deposits.

While Bathurst is confident of shoring up cash flows from its three South Island coal mines through domestic sales, the depressed global price of specialist coking coal means it cannot start commercially viable mining from the Denniston plateau, above Westport.

Analysts have forecast a coking coal price slump, potentially through to 2016.

Bathurst has maintained it can rely on its domestic coal supply sales and can afford to delay ramping up the Denniston development.

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