Aussie investors lose out in NuCoal battle for coal project; shares plunge 40pc
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It has been four years since the NSW government cancelled a NuCoal Resources coal exploration licence at Doyles Creek — and the company is still seeking retribution.
However, Australian shareholders won’t be a party to any future compensation if NuCoal (ASX:NCR) is successful.
The news sent NuCoal’s share price down nearly 40 per cent to 1.1c in early Friday morning trade. The shares recovered slightly to trade at 1.3c just before midday.
The government passed legislation in January 2014 revoking the licence after the New South Wales Independent Commission Against Corruption recommended cancelling it because of the corrupt way in which they were granted.
In April 2015, NuCoal lost its court challenge over the cancellation of the licence.
NuCoal picked up the Doyles Creek project through the acquisition of Doyles Creek Mining – which was granted the licence in December 2008.
The company hasn’t stopped fighting, but it appears it has again been unsuccessful in securing compensation for Australian shareholders.
In December last year NuCoal lodged a submission with NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian requesting her to consider the company’s position following a number of developments in 2017.
NuCoal pointed to the acquittal of Craig Ransley, former founder and director of Doyles Creek Mining, on allegations related to the granting of the licence and the failure to bring any charges against Andrew Poole and Michael Chester, both also former directors of Doyles Creek Mining.
It also raised the fact that public statements were made by NSW MPs from both sides of Parliament that the NSW Parliament may have been misled when it passed legislation revoking the Doyles Creek licence.
However, it appears the NSW Premier didn’t think the matter warranted a discussion with NuCoal.
“Despite formal correspondence and numerous requests to Premier Berejiklian to meet with NuCoal, no meeting has been offered and we have now been told via a short form letter that the NSW government is content with the decision which it led the Parliament to make in January 2014,” he told shareholders late Thursday.
“NuCoal is continuing efforts on an international level with NuCoal’s U.S. shareholders to bring an appropriate compensation proceeding against the Australian government under the Australia-U.S. Free Trade Agreement.”
“Unfortunately, as previously advised, Australian shareholders in NuCoal will not be a party to any compensation that may arise from these efforts.”