22 Feb 2011

Report confirms Pike River creditors unlikely to be paid

6:45 am on 22 February 2011

The receivers of Pike River Coal have confirmed they are unlikely to have any money to pay unsecured creditors of the company.

The receivers have delivered their first report since they took control of the company's finances.

Pike River Coal went into receivership in December, after 29 workers were killed in explosions at the mine on 19 November.

The creditors, half of them trade creditors, are owed $31.9 million.

Pike River say they have paid workers' entitlements, the Inland Revenue Department and Customs $3.1 million already, along with $1.2 million to Solid Energy.

Total debts are $110.4 million, dwarfing the $10.9 million held in cash at the time of the receivers' appointment.

Much hope remains focused on an insurance claim.

An initial estimate of $100 million for business interruption was later downgraded but no figure is available for the current value of the insurance payout.

The receivers' report hints that Pike River could be delisted from the New Zealand or Australian stock exchanges but neither that nor a continued trading suspension has been decided.