25 Aug 2009

More shipping delays for Pike River Coal

10:00 pm on 25 August 2009

Pike River Coal is facing further delays in shipping its coal offshore: deliveries to customers are not now expected to be until the first quarter of next year.

The company has reported a loss of $13 million in the year to June, an eleven-fold increase from the previous year, due to $6.2 million worth of unrealised foreign exchange losses, depreciation costs and finance expenses.

Chief executive Gordon Ward says Pike River has been faced with poor performances from its mining machines, unstable rock near the Hawea fault and getting new crews up to speed with the work.

Mr Ward estimates that will add another 4.5 months at most to the first export shipment of 60,000 tonne.

However, the delay will affect Pike River's ability to meet funding conditions set by its lender that it produces at least 800,000 tonnes by November next year. A six-month extension is being sought from Liberty Harbor.

Shares in Pike River Coal fell 11 cents to $1.03 by the close of trade on Tuesday.