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Leighton purchase

Leighton Holdings has bought the half stake in Pilbara-based indigenous contracting company Ngarca Civil and Mining previously held by Henry Walker Eltin Ltd. In January, Leighton Contractors acquired Henry Walker Eltin Mining for $211 million. Ngarda is based in Port Hedland, in WA’s far north, and was formed to alleviate poverty among indigenous people through long-term commercial development. The joint venture includes its founding partners Indigenous Business Australia (25 per cent) and Ngarda Ngarli Yarndu Foundation (25 per cent) and operates about $16 million worth of plant and equipment and currently generates revenue of approximately $44 million per annum. Ngarda has contracts with mining heavyweights BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and Newcrest Mining. Leighton deputy managing director Laurie Voyer said Ngarda had sound growth potential. “Given Ngarda’s significant industry relationships and the growth occurring in the resources sector, particularly in Western Australia, we believe it has many growth opportunities ahead,” Mr Voyer said. Henry Walker Eltin went into voluntary administration in January 2005 after it found it could not afford the payments for an ambitious mining contract in Indonesia and Glencore Finance AG withdrew a proposed $100 million financing lifeline.

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