‘I have been shamed by my state’: Nathan Tinkler says he isn’t rushing back into resources
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Former BRW Young Rich Lister and mining magnate Nathan Tinkler says he has no plans to get back into mining despite recent news a company he heads is looking to buy a copper mine in Queensland.
Private Singapore-based Bentley Resources Pte Ltd, which Tinkler is listed as the CEO of, has been named as one of the buyers of the Lady Annie copper mine currently owned by CST Group, which is chaired by another well-known mining personality, Owen Hegarty.
Hegarty is also chairman of specialist resources private equity manager EMR Capital.
In March, CST said in a Hong Kong Stock Exchange filing that Kombi Mining, as trustee of the Lady Annie Trust, and Bentley Resources had agreed to buy the mine for $1 and take on an outstanding debt of $262.5m related to the mine.
But Tinkler has poured cold water on the notion he is getting back into resources.
He told Stockhead there was nothing on the radar for him with respect to mining projects.
“I have been shamed by my state and run out of the game for employing people and generating royalties,” he said.
“I am banned as a director, so can’t be a director and I can’t make decisions or advise anyone in anything.
“That is my punishment for developing two coal mines in Qld and NSW with my own equity and foresight and employing 2,000 people in regional areas in mines that pay their state over $200m a year in royalties.”
In May 2017 ASIC banned Tinkler from being a director until February 2021 because of his involvement in the collapse of 11 companies across mining, horse racing and sports.
Tinkler made it onto the BRW Young Rich List in his 30s after a series of mining successes, including selling a majority stake in a Queensland coal mine he bought for $11.5m to Macarthur Coal for $57m in cash and $184m worth of Macarthur shares.
Tinkler then capitalised on a takeover play for Macarthur, selling his shares for $422m after Macarthur’s share price shot up on news it had a suitor.
At the peak of his success, Tinkler reportedly had a net worth of over $1 billion, owned the Newcastle Jets A-League soccer club, the Newcastle Knights rugby league club and a large racing stable and stud.
In 2010, Tinkler floated Aston Resources following a $400m IPO, one of the biggest IPOs at the time.
Tinkler believes Australian corporate regulators are trying to make it difficult for those working hard to be successful in mining.
He pointed to Fortescue Metals Group (ASX:FMG) founder and chairman Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest — one of the great iron ore mining success stories in recent times.
“I remember a time when ASIC were trying to ban Andrew and look what he did for his country,” Tinkler told Stockhead.
“The most amazing development we will see in my lifetime. He led a team to build a 150 [million tonne] iron ore mine while I waited for NSW to approve a coal mine.
“Eight years. Third world country stuff.”
In mid-2011, Forrest was facing a possible ban as a director over alleged misleading claims on deals with Chinese firms.
However, Forrest won his High Court appeal against the ban.