31/03/2008 - 16:04

Opes crash hits seven WA miners

31/03/2008 - 16:04

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The collapse of stockbroker Opes Prime has ensnared shareholders in at least seven WA resources companies, including high profile mining identity Nathan MacMahon and the biggest stakeholder in Gindalbie Metals Ltd.

Opes crash hits seven WA miners

The collapse of stockbroker Opes Prime has ensnared shareholders in at least seven WA resources companies, including high profile mining identity Nathan MacMahon and the biggest stakeholder in Gindalbie Metals Ltd.

Gindalbie, Blackham Resources Ltd, Conquest Mining Ltd, Bannerman Resources Ltd, Catalyst Metals Ltd Red Fork Energy Ltd and Hodges Resources Ltd all called trading halts in relation to shareholders who had equity finance contracts with Opes Prime.

Another company, Sydney-based Ord River Resources Ltd, said its shareholder Mandolin Pty Ltd, which is associated with the Towner family, had advised it of margin lending arrangements with Opes.

Gindalbie told the market it was attempting to clarify a situation where its biggest shareholder Malewar had a portion of its 14.5 per cent stake subject to an equity finance contract with Opens Prime Stockbroking Ltd.

It was understood that almost half of Malewar's 74 million share stake could be subject to the contract.

Gindalbie shares were steady at 71 cents before the trading halt was called. It was understood the company was seeking a buyer or buyers for the parcel of shares, thought to be around 35 million, rather than seeing the stock dumped on the market.

Melewar is part of the Melawar industrial group, a Malaysian steel tubing business.

Bannerman also called a trading halt today, advising the market that director Nathan MacMahon and other shareholders had advised the company that a portion of their shareholdings are subject to an equity finance contract with Opes Prime Stockbroking Ltd.

Bannerman shares dropped 10 per cent to a $1.80 each before the halt was called.

Ord River did not call a trading halt and said its shareholder, Mandolin, has the capacity to repay the balance of the loan facility. Mandolin, is a company associated with executive chairman John Towner and fellow board member Jeremy Towner. Mandolin's exposure is $640,000 secured over a portion of its ordinary shares in Ord River.

Blackham Resources Ltd also advised a director of company other shareholders had advised the company that a portion of their shareholdings are subject to an equity finance contract with Opes Prime Stockbroking Ltd.

Conquest Mining made a similar announcement.

Red Fork said one of its substantial shareholders holds its shares through an account with Opes.

Opes Prime went into receivership and administration on Thursday after trading "irregularities" were uncovered.

On Friday the Australian Securities and Investments Commission obtained orders placing travel restrictions on Opes chief Lirim Emini.

 

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