SIBERIAN anthracite, the model for Atrum Coal's giant Groundhog project in Canada. Photo: survincity.com

SIBERIAN anthracite, the model for Atrum Coal's giant Groundhog project in Canada.
Photo: survincity.com

 
 

Atrum's New Board

Issue 135, August 2015

Continued from Page 1

Chisholm says there had been no prior warning, or discussion of resignations, but is confident that both former directors “will resolve their personal financial positions” and remain supportive going forward. “Like a lot of people in the market, we hear rumours on a daily basis about their loans, but that's all we know.”

Russell Moran and Gino D'Anna have since been replaced on Atrum's board by senior coal bosses from US-based Peabody Energy and Canada's Teck. “Russell and Gino have a lot of shares in the business,” says Chisholm, who credits the pair for finding Atrum's flagship Groundhog asset. “I'm sure they want to see the business succeed and I think they'd be very impressed with the calibre of the people who are coming on board.”

Moran says he was quoted out of context by The Australian and fully supports the new appointments. “Those guys have got tremendous experience,” he says. “Of course I support the company, I've never not supported the company, so in that sense, of course it's amicable.”

“Atrum's substantially owned by three highly-vested, passionate investors and we don't always agree, but that doesn't mean we're not zealots for the project.”

Very Buoyant

Atrum's shares opened 40 per cent lower when trading resumed two weeks ago and it may take time for the company to rebuild confidence within the market. But having signed MoUs with three of Japan's largest trading houses, Chisholm and the new board can again focus on locking-in a project partner, funding Groundhog into production.

“We're back trading again, so we're happy about that,” he says, sounding relaxed. “I think the asset is unique and in an environment where coking coal and thermal coal prices are quite depressed, anthracite prices are very buoyant.”

“I'm like every other shareholder now,” says Moran, “but all members of the board were always in agreement that the first major piece of financing we did was possibly the most important decision we'd make.”

“In that respect, we're all very conservative and my understanding is that the company is extremely confident that it is going to be able to complete the project sell-down at a very high valuation. That's really the driver for them.”

Moran says he has no plans to sell shares and remains Groundhog's biggest supporter. “We've always said that we'd like to be there when it's exporting its first shipment of anthracite," he says. "I'd be sad if I wasn't there when we did.”

“Of course I support the company, I’ve never not supported the company.”

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