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West Cumbria Mining completes £14.7m private equity financing

Coal for Steel

Coal for Steel

Providing a responsibly mined, high quality, critical raw material to the UK and European steel industry

WCM Sustainability Fund

WCM Sustainability Fund

Our commitment to carbon offsetting is a core part of our Corporate Social Responsibility policy forming a key element of our Sustainability Fund.

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26 August, 2014
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Mark Kirkbride, Chief Executive Officer of West Cumbria Mining said: “The Company is delighted to announce the completion of financing for its Whitehaven Coking Coal Project. This is testament to the strong fundamentals of the project and the potential for this to become the next substantial, low cost,  metallurgical coal mining operation in the UK.”

Investment comes from supportive new shareholder, EMR Capital Resources Fund, an Australian managed private equity fund targeting ~US$400 million in funds under management

Stage 1 of work programme planned to commence immediately, comprising a series of boreholes within the Onshore Licence area and first stage of a PFS

Appointment of John Harrison as Non-Executive Chairman and Richard Crookes as Non-Executive Director

The Board of West Cumbria Mining (Holdings) Limited (‘WCM’ or the ‘Company’) is delighted to announce the completion of a major private equity financing to fund the next stage of development at its Whitehaven Coking Coal Project (‘WCCP’ or the ‘Project’) and the appointment of two experienced Non-Executive Directors to the Board.

  1. Completion of Major Private Equity Financing

The Company is pleased to announce that it has today completed a £14.7 million private equity financing with EMR Capital Resources Fund 1, L.P. (‘EMR’). EMR is an Australian managed mining-focussed private equity fund targeting approximately US$400 million in funds under management by EMR Capital GP 1 Limited, which is led by respected industry executives Owen Hegarty, Jason Chang and Richard Crookes. RFC Ambrian Limited acted as financial adviser to the Company on the transaction.

This financing has been secured to support the next stage of development of the WCCP, including an onshore and offshore drilling campaign, delineation of a JORC resource and completion of a Preliminary Feasibility Study (‘PFS’), with the work to be undertaken through 2014 and the first half of 2015.

The financing is comprised of an equity investment in WCM to be completed in three tranches over the next 12 months and corresponding with the Company’s work programme at the WCCP. Tranche 1 of the funding, totalling £2.2 million, has already been received by the Company.

The Tranche 1 funding will be applied immediately to a limited programme of onshore drilling and data reprocessing to confirm the specifications of the coking coal. This will be accompanied by commencement of work to define a maiden JORC-compliant resource for the Onshore Licence and environmental and social studies as part of the PFS. In 2015 an offshore drilling programme will be undertaken to confirm the coal quality and mineability of the larger Offshore Licence areas, as well as the completion of the PFS and the definition of a substantial JORC-compliant resource.

  1. New Director Appointments

Concurrently with the completion of this financing, the Company is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr John Harrison and Mr Richard Crookes to the Board of WCM.

John Harrison, Non-Executive Chairman

John joins the Board as Non-Executive Chairman. He joined RFC Ambrian in 2011 bringing 45 years of experience in the City of London, including more than a decade focussed on Natural Resources. He has advised companies in the gold, platinum, copper, nickel, zinc, diamond, coal, ferrochrome, manganese, iron ore and oil & gas industries, as well as engineering and services companies, in both an M&A and Equity Capital Markets context, raising more than £500m. His clients have ranged from substantial producing businesses such as First Quantum Minerals to junior exploration companies.

John has acted in the capitalisation of innovative resources companies on AIM and the Main List of the LSE, including the flotation and subsequent admission to the FTSE 250 of the first listed specialist ferrochrome company International Ferro Metals, the capitalisation of Nautilus Minerals, the pioneering deep-sea mining company and the IPO of MyCelx, a revolutionary technology company solving the world’s toughest water filtration problems for the O&G industry. John is currently Chairman (UK) of RFC Ambrian Limited.

Richard Crookes, Non-Executive Director

Richard joins the Board as a Non-Executive Director. Richard is a highly regarded and a well-known resources industry and investment professional in Australia, with over 25 years’ experience in the resources and investments industry. Richard is a geologist by background, and started his career in the resources sector. His prior roles include being the Chief Geologist and Mining Manager of Ernest Henry Mining in Australia (now Glencore). Throughout his career in resources, Richard has been deeply involved in all aspects of mining projects, including exploration, mineral resource development, mine operations, environmental management, mine fleet selection, project finance and project management.

After 15 years in the resources industry, Richard then worked for Macquarie Bank for 12 years, becoming an Executive Director in the Metals Energy Capital (MEC) Division, where he managed all aspects of the Bank’s principal investments in mining and metals companies including deal origination, evaluation, structuring, post-acquisition management, client relationship management, marketing and execution of investment entry and exits for both private and public resources companies in Australia and overseas. Richard is currently an Investment Director of EMR.

  1. Comment

Commenting on today’s announcement, Mark Kirkbride, Chief Executive Officer of WCM, said:

“The Company is delighted to announce completion of this financing for its Whitehaven Coking Coal Project. The support of such a high quality institutional investor, in EMR, is testament to the strong fundamentals of the Project and its potential to become the next substantial, low cost, coking coal mining operation in the UK.

I am also delighted to welcome John and Richard to the Board. These appointments bring a wealth of financial, technical and corporate experience to the Company as it moves into this next exciting phase of development.”

Coal for Steel

Coal for Steel

Providing a responsibly mined, high quality, critical raw material to the UK and European steel industry

WCM Sustainability Fund

WCM Sustainability Fund

Our commitment to carbon offsetting is a core part of our Corporate Social Responsibility policy forming a key element of our Sustainability Fund.

Find out more