Pike River Coal

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Pike River Coal Ltd
Traded as NZX: PRC, ASXPRC
Industry Coal mining
Headquarters Level 3, Axon House,
1 Willeston Street, Wellington, New Zealand[1]
Key people

John Fisk, David Bridgman and Malcolm Hollis, PricewaterhouseCoopers[2]
Former management;
Peter W Whittall (CEO)

John Dow (Non-Executive Chairman)
Stuart Nattrass (NED)
Arun Jagatramka Director
Raymond F Meyer Director
Roy Antony Radford Director
Dipak Agarwalla Director[3]
Number of employees
180 (as of 22 September 2010)
Website Pike River Coal Ltd

Pike River Coal Ltd is a mining company that was listed on the New Zealand and Australian stock exchanges. The company owns the rights to a premium hard coking coal resource in the South Island of New Zealand. Its primary operation was the Pike River Mine, the site of a mining disaster with 29 deaths in November 2010.[4]

The company first listed and began trading on the New Zealand Exchange on 20 July 2007. On 22 November 2010, trading in the company's shares and options was suspended from the New Zealand Exchange at the company's request, pending developments from the mining disaster.[3] On 12 December 2010 the company was placed in receivership.

Pike River Mine is a coal mine located 46 km east of Greymouth in the West Coast Region of New Zealand's South Island.[3] The operation was set up to mine the Brunner seam, a bituminous coal deposit with lower ash and varying sulfur content. The high quality coal with low level of mineral contaminants means it can demand premium prices on world markets.[5] Hard coking coal is the most valuable coal used in the manufacture of steel.

Company management[edit]

The current CEO of the company, Peter W Whittall, a 29-year veteran miner and mining executive, was appointed in the position 2 October 2010. The Pike River Mine disaster occurred less than two months after Whittall's appointment as CEO. His first AGM in the role took place on 15 November 2010.[6] Whittall worked for about 24 years in Australian mining including underground mining operations in New South Wales, Australia, for BHP Billiton, the world's largest mining company. He holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Mining) and a Master of Business Administration[7] from the University of Wollongong in New South Wales. Whittall joined Pike River Coal in 2005. Prior to his role as CEO, Whittall held the position of General Manager Mines and was responsible for on-site construction, mine development and recruitment at the Pike River operation.[8] Whittall became the company spokesperson during the mining disaster.

The previous head of the company was Gordon Ward, who was managing director and CEO from May 2007 until 1 October 2010. Until his departure, Ward had led Pike River Mine from its initial conceptual design for fourteen years,.[9] The company auditor is KPMG in Wellington, New Zealand. The company solicitor is law firm Minter Ellison Rudd Watts.[3] On 29 October 2010 Pike River Coal won the Best Investor Website Award, of the country's top 50 listed companies.[10]


The company raised NZ$85 million in additional capital for expanding the Pike River Mine in 2007.[11] As of August 2007, over NZ$100 million had already been invested into developing the mine.[12] By June 2010, Pike River Coal had invested a total of $288 million in developing the mine. Pike River Coal reported net operating losses of $39 million in the year to June 2010, and $13 million in 2009.[13]

Prior to the mine disaster, Pike River Coal Ltd had a market capitalisation varying around NZD400M. Pike River Coal was initially held by New Zealand Oil & Gas (29% stake plus options and bonds)[14] as well as the two Indian companies; Gujarat NRE Coke Limited, (17% share), and Saurashtra Fuels Private Limited, (15% share), with the two latter companies intending to buy about half the running production of the mine's coal.[15] After the initial public offering, the percentages changed to NZ Oil and Gas 31%, Gujarat NRE Coke 10%, Saurashtra Fuels 8.5%, private minority shareholders had 7.9% and the remaining 42.5% was sold to the public.[16]

On 12 December 2010, New Zealand Oil & Gas released a statement saying that it had decided to put Pike River Coal into receivership.[17] On 13 December 2010, New Zealand Oil And Gas stated that Pricewaterhouse Coopers had been appointed receivers.[18]

In July 2013 the company was ordered to pay $110,000 to each of the victims' families and fined $760,000[19] - but in the end didn't pay the fine and only paid $5000 to each family, saying it didn't have the money.[20][21] In November 2013 Labour Party leader David Cunliffe said if elected, Labour would ensure the families receive the payouts they were awarded.[22][23]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Pike River Coal Limited Details". Australian Stock Exchange. Retrieved 24 November 2010. 
  2. ^ "Receivers appointed to Pike River Coal Limited" (Press release). PricewaterhouseCoopers. 13 December 2010. Retrieved 18 January 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Pike River Coal Limited Ordinary Shares (PRC)". NZ Stock Exchange. Retrieved 24 November 2010. 
  4. ^ Beswick, Angela. "Pike River: Second explosion, no survivors". 3 News. Retrieved 24 November 2010. 
  5. ^ Alan Sherwood and Jock Phillips. "Coal resources". Te Ara, Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Ministry for Culture and Heritage / Te Manatū Taonga. Retrieved 24 November 2010. 
  6. ^ "2010 AGM – Chief Executive Address" (PDF). Pike River Coal. Retrieved 24 November 2010. 
  7. ^ "Peter Whittall:Pike CEO in the global spotlight". Television New Zealand. 23 November 2010. Retrieved 24 November 2010. 
  8. ^ "Whittall to take over as Pike River CEO in October". Creamer Media's Mining Weekly. 14 September 2010. Retrieved 24 November 2010. 
  9. ^ Esmarie Swanepoel (10 September 2010). "Pike River Coal managing director Gordon Ward to leave". Proactive Investors, Australia. Retrieved 24 November 2010. 
  10. ^ "BIWA 2010". Wired Internet Group. Retrieved 24 November 2010. 
  11. ^ "Pike River Coal project makes rapid strides". Ministry of Economic Development of New Zealand. 31 July 2007. 
  12. ^ NZPA (29 August 2007). "Pike River mine investment tops $100m". The New Zealand Herald. 
  13. ^ "Pike River's annual loss widens ahead of mining starting next month". Businesswire. 25 August 2010. Retrieved 13 December 2010. 
  14. ^ Jason Krupp (23 November 2010). "NZ Oil & Gas shares plummet". Business Desk. NZX News. Retrieved 30 November 2010. 
  15. ^ How the West was won: Pike River on track, New Zealand Construction News, Volume 2, Issues 3, July 2007
  16. ^ Grant Bradley (25 February 2008). "Inside Pike River: Rich rivers of black gold in the pipeline". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 21 November 2010. 
  17. ^ Gyles Beckford (12 December 2010). "NZ Oil & Gas places Pike River Coal in receivership". Reuters. Retrieved 13 December 2010. 
  18. ^ "Receivers appointed for PRCL" (Press release). NZ Oil And Gas. 13 December 2010. 
  19. ^ $110,000 awarded to Pike River victims, families. 3 News NZ. 5 July 2013.
  20. ^ Shareholders deny Pike River families' reparation. 3 News NZ. 30 October 2013.
  21. ^ Pike River disaster third anniversary. Radio NZ. 19 November 2013.
  22. ^ Labour Govt would pay Pike compo – Cunliffe. 3 News NZ. 19 November 2013.
  23. ^ Pike River: Cunliffe promises compensation for families. New Zealand Herald. 19 November 2013.

External links[edit]