Conditional sale of Pike River confirmed

Thursday 10 May 2012 9:14 p.m.

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Conditional sale of Pike Mine confirmed

The conditional sale of the Pike River Coal Mine's assets to Solid Energy has been confirmed.

In the agreement Solid Energy must take all reasonable steps to recover the remains of the 29 men who died during an explosion at the mine in November 2010 but only if it is "safe, technically viable and financially credible".

Solid Energy will pay an initial $7.5 million for the assets with up to an additional $25m to be paid depending on whether the mine is reopened and the level of production.

The final settlement of the sale, conditional on a number of mostly procedural matters including transfer of the mining permit, is expected in July, Receivers PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) said in a statement on Thursday.

However, this could be pushed back depending on the granting of various ministerial consents, other approvals and documentation relating to possible body recovery between the Crown and the new owner.

Solid Energy must provide undertakings to the Crown including taking all reasonable steps to recover the bodies provided it reasonably considers this can be undertaken safely, is technically feasible and financially credible.

Details of this arrangement are yet to be finalised.

Solid Energy was not only an experience mining company but also provided the best prospect of recovering the mens bodies, a PwC statement said.

NZN

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