BUSINESS rescue practitioners (BRPs) are expected to select the winning bid for Koornfontein coal mine by the end of the this month, according to a report by IHS Markit.
A decision on the successful bid for Optimum Coal Mine is expected soon thereafter, said the industry publication citing two sources involved in the process.
BRPs selected Project Halo, a consortium backed by Macquarie Group, in December to buy Optimum Coal but creditors – led by the government-controlled power utility, Eskom – rejected the move. It is understood Eskom has been more engaged in the process this time around and is likely to support the new successful bidder.
The sources said the assets could be awarded together or separately. It was not clear which of the two assets would include the prized 6.5 million tons a year export entitlement at the Richards Bay Coal Terminal.
The entitlement is typically linked to the Optimum mine, said IHS Markit.
A consortium led by African Exploration Mining and Finance Corporation (AEMFC) and trading house Lurco Group were leading contenders a few months ago, but it wasn’t clear if they made it to the final list.
It has been about 18 months since Optimum and Koornfontein were forced into business rescue under its Gupta-linked owner Tegeta Resources & Exploration.
Since then, production has come to a virtual halt, leaving hundreds of workers unpaid and its main customer, Eskom, scrambling for replacement supplies, said IHS.
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