Aston Resources (AZT) is focussed on the development of its wholly owned Maules Creek coal development project. The project is one of the last major undeveloped and significant multi-seam coal deposits in New South Wales.
Been looking at this one as a former Newcastle lad..
(from the Newcastle Herald) 16/07/2010
NATHAN Tinkler's Aston Resources is tipped to announce a stockmarket float soon, after recruiting former deputy prime minister Mark Vaile as his company chairman.
Merger and acquisition activity has taken off in the coal sector since Labor settled its damaging fight with the mining industry over the resource rent tax, with Thai company Banpu leading the way with a $6.20 a share takeover for Hunter-based Centennial Coal.
Aston Resources bought the highly regarded Maules Creek coal deposit at Gunnedah at the start of the year, paying $480 million to Rio Tinto subsidiary Coal & Allied.
Maules Creek, about 20 kilometres north-east of Boggabri, was explored in the 1980s, with a mining lease issued in 1991.
Aston needs access to the Port of Newcastle to make Maules Creek a bankable proposition and market speculation has centred on it cutting a deal with Donaldson Coal, which has an 11.6 per cent stake in Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group, owner and operator of Newcastle's new third coal-loader.
Donaldson is owned by Hong Kong-based Noble Resources, which is viewed by the coal industry as a seller rather than a long-term owner.
A spokesman for Mr Tinkler said Aston's executives were on an overseas roadshow, and there would be no comment on the planned float until they returned to Newcastle.
The float is expected to raise about $400 million to $500 million from investors.
Company records show Aston Resources has paid-up capital of $25 million.
Mr Tinkler's spokesman said he had about 53 per cent of Aston. Interests associated with US-based private equity group Farallon Capital Management had 37.5 per cent and Aston management held the rest.
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