LISTED but suspended miner turned telco stock, Central Exchange, is claiming that the London Nickel Exchange price required to trigger its $19 million payout from Anaconda, now Minara Resources, has been reached.
However, with a more than $19 million windfall coming its way, Central Exchange and its 48.8 per cent shareholder and office mate, the Farooq Khan chaired Queste Communications, is being coy about what it will do with the money.
The $19.051,013 payout relates to Central Exchange’s previous incarnation as Central Bore.
Anaconda bought the Murrin Murrin tenements from it. A court battle, triggered by Central Bore shareholder Peter Salter, led to the settlement.
Central Exchange company secretary Victor Ho said based on the company’s calculations, the payout trigger price had been reached on November 28.
If that is the case, Minara has until December 18 to agree or disagree.
Assuming it agrees that the trigger price has been reached, it has a further 14 business days to make the payment.
That means Central Exchange is not likely to get the payout until early 2004.
Minara company secretary John Quayle said the company’s auditors were still assessing whether the trigger price had been reached. He said Minara would only bear 60 per cent of the cost if the payout had to be made.
The remaining 40 per cent is the responsibility of its joint venture partner Glencore.
The payout is not likely to hurt Minara’s long-term health. The company is expected to receive a $200 million payout from litigation it entered into with Fleur Daniel, the company that was responsible for constructing its nickel laterite processing plant.
Mr Ho said the company had not yet worked out what it would do with the money.
“The primary objective for Central Exchange is to get relisted,” he said.
“It would require shareholder approval in the New Year.”
There is also the need to work out how much of the court settlement will be taxed.
One of the options under consideration is to relist Central Exchange as a miner or explorer. Another option is a capital return to shareholders.
The capital return is an option Mr Khan said was under consideration.
However, Mr Ho said there was not likely to be any significant capital return to shareholders.
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