Maules Creek Coal Project goes round again

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Bloomberg are reporting that the Whitehaven Assets including the Maules Creek Project are being pitched to the banks again.

After selling the idea to the original backers, the public in a IPO last year, Whitehaven itself and now to another group of backers, there is concrete evidence that the Maules Creek community  are caught up in a speculative bubble and not a mining boom.

Speculation is more about perception than substance and investors would we well advised to be careful.

Much of the Whitehaven assets are in the Leard State Forest in northern NSW. This area is subject to environmental protection under the Federal EPBC act. There is community opposition to clearing 5000 Ha of forest for an open cut  coal mine which is the home to 390 species, 34 of which are threatened and endangered. The Koala and its habitat is among these.

Approval for the Maules Creek Project has not been granted as it requires both State and Federal consent.  By anyones thinking, clearing a forest for a coal mine is seriously flawed and the project may have to be re-designed as an underground mine. This will change the economics of the project and with a falling coal price plus a 50% share price premium, Whitehaven may just take the profit and buy back in when a proper correction occurs.

It seems that Kerry Packer was wrong, there could be more than 1 Allan Bond.