London Mining (AIM: LOND) has acquired the remaining 80% of Colombian coal producer International Coal Company (ICC), targeting production of 250 ktpa (kilo tonnes per annum) of coking coal within 18-24 months and up to 400 ktpa of coke with first production within 12months.
The business, which London Mining said would be the development platform for its Colombian coking coal business, was acquired from Pacific Overseas Investments, SIHL Investments International Corporation, Talman Alliance and Executive Players.
It is paying US$5.5 million in cash and 3.5 million shares with a potential further consideration of up to US$8.5 million in cash and up to 6.3 million shares contingent on performance.
ICC consists of three coking coal concessions in the Socha coking coal region of Colombia with an aggregate area of 606 ha (hectares), a contract with Invercoal to develop and earn a 51% interest in a 250ktpa mine as well as land, environmental and construction permits and detailed plans to build coke ovens with a nameplate capacity of 200ktpa, which could go up to 400ktpa.
Capex (capital expenditure) is expected at US$40 million over the next 18 months, consisting of US$23 million for 200 ktpa capacity coke ovens, US$12 million development expenditure for London Mining’s 51% interest in the 250 ktpa coking coal mine for the Invercoal JV (joint venture) and US$5 million on exploration around the Socha coal region and overhead spending.
London Mining, which aims to build production of over 2 mtpa (million tonnes per annum) in the mid term, expects cash flows within 12 months.
“The acquisition of the ICC coking coal and coke platform is another step in London Mining's stated goal of becoming a mid tier supplier of materials to the global steel industry. ICC's business fulfils our key criteria of being scalable, having deliverable logistics and being quick to first production,” said chairman of London Mining Colin Knight.
London Mining said that it is one the first well-capitalised international investor to invest in the Colombian coking coal industry, which it said is fragmented and under-invested. Coal industry consultancy McCloskey estimates the country’s estimated total reserves at 2 billion tonnes and production levels at 3 mpta.
Disclosure: The author holds no positions in the company