THE WEST AUSTRALIAN
Friday, 11 January 2013 08:52
Speculation Gina Rinehart's $10 billion Roy Hill project may be running out of money as it seeks to raise debt financing may be overblown, with the company reporting it was holding more than $636 million in cash at June last year.
According to financial statements filed with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission last year, which only became available to the public yesterday, Roy Hill Holdings spent $698.2 million on developing its planned 55mtpa iron ore mine in the 2011-12 financial year, with a further $142.5 million in payments showing as current liabilities on its books at June 30. That was on top of the $80.7 million spent in the previous financial year.
Though a Roy Hill spokesman would not comment on the company's current financial position, presentations delivered by senior executives late last year said Roy Hill had spent more than $1 billion so far. With the company effectively freezing major spending during the iron ore price crash last year, _WestBusiness _ estimates that the company should have about $400 million in reserves still available.
The financial statements also show just how much Mrs Rinehart and her equity partners had committed to the project, even before the December launch of a push for an estimated $7 billion in debt funding. Roy Hill had $786.5 million in capital commitments at June 30, with another $440 million committed to non-cancellable operating leases extending over a five year-plus period.
During the year Mrs Rinehart and her 30 per cent equity partners - Korea's Posco and STX Corp, Japanese conglomerate Marubeni and Taiwan's China Steel Corporation - chipped in $1.47 billion, or about $750 million each, with records showing a further $2.8 billion still owing from the joint venture partners. Previous statements from Mrs Rinehart indicated $2.4 billion of that is to come from the Asian consortium, though no further payments are due until project debt financing commitments have been secured.
It is understood Roy Hill is still in negotiations over debt financing, with delegations from US and Japanese export credit agencies to visit WA in the next two weeks.
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