Some of these would allow Churchill to take full control of the project.
Initial proposals have ranged from an emphasis on direct entry into the project at the local Indonesian company level through to procuring a large stake in the company.
Certain potential investment partners have also proposed that the mining and infrastructure elements of the EKCP should be separated to be dealt with and funded on a separate basis.
In addition to that, a number of investors have expressed interest in either buying out the 25% of the project held by Churchill’s Indonesian partners or providing funding to Churchill to complete this action itself and bring the project under the company's sole control.
In all cases, prospective partners have been required to address their ability to fund the capital required to develop the project.
Churchill is currently examining three specific proposals from Indonesia, India and the Middle East, in which the acquisition of Ridlatama's 25% holding in the EKCP is an integral component.
The due diligence process being conducted by various potential investor partners is at different stages of completion.
Last month, Churchill confirmed that it was “discussing a variety of options to take the project forward” in response to media reports that it was in talks with several Indian power companies to sell the Indonesian coal project.
Northland Capital, Churchill’s nominated advisor (NOMAD) on the AIM market, confirmed that Churchill plans to sell and it is negotiating with Indian companies.
In September last year, the company and Ridlatama initiated an administrative review to further protect the legal standing of the four mining licenses which constitute East Kutai.
The review will address ongoing irregular actions and misrepresentations by third parties in Indonesia in respect to the mining licences for the East Kutai coal project.
Churchill reported that last Thursday, the regional administrative tribunal indicated that the results of this process in respect of the licenses held by the EKCP will be announced by mid-March 2011.
East Kutai is a world-class thermal coal deposit. It has a 961 million tonne JORC mining reserve and 2.73 billion tonnes of JORC resources. The sheer scale of the project is reflected by the US$1.2 billion (direct capital costs) needed to build the mine.
Once operational the proposed open pit would produce 30 million tonnes of high grade thermal coal each year, for an initial 25-year life. It would generate cashflow of US$500 million each year.
Churchill hired corporate heavyweight Credit Suisse back in April 2010 to complete a strategic review and help it evaluate the various options for East Kutai’s project financing.
Source: Proactive Investors (by Sergei Balashov)
Tags: Credit Suisse, project finance, open pit, large stake in the company, investment partner, EKCP, EOI, India, middle east
If you believe an article violates your rights or the rights of others, please contact us.