Mining magnate Nathan Tinkler’s Aston Metals, a base metals company, has gone into receivership with a Hong Kong-based trustee company.
Tinkler Group has laid fault on Hong Kong-based hedge fund Orchard Capital Partners, saying it is “experiencing financial difficulties in one of its funds”.
Receivers John Park and Quentin Olde from FTI Consulting said the company’s assets will be assessed to see if it can be sold, the AFR reported.
They will reassess Aston’s five ventures around Mt Isa and find a way to boost their sale price.
These include Walford Creek, which it got for $2.5 million from Copper Strike, Constance Range, Isa North and Isa West, which it held along with Summit Resources, and Isa South.
Local companies as well as overseas companies could express interest.
“Aston Metals and Mr Tinkler have received a number of notices over the previous 30 days requesting payment of the debt as per the rights of the secured creditor. This would not be a surprise for Aston Metals or Mr Tinkler,” the receivers said.
Aston was previously one of Australia’s 200 largest companies.
Whitehaven Coal acquired Aston Metals for $2.25 billion in 2011 to form Australia’s largest coal company in a “friendly” deal.
Receivers disputed Tinkler Group’s claim Orchard is “our main joint venture partner” in Aston Metals.
“Funds managed by OCP Asia are creditors to Aston Metals and not joint venture partners,” they said.
Tinkler said Aston Metals is “a dormant, speculative investment near Mt Isa” held by shareholders and the company.
It added it will “work with the receivers and other Aston Metals shareholders for a speedy resolution to the situation”.
Talks will be held between other shareholders in Aston and partners in Aston’s exploration projects to bring it out of receivership.
Liquidators were given the go-ahead to sue Tinkler for allowing one of his companies, Mulsanne Resources, to trade while in receivership.
The NSW Supreme Court allowed a funding agreement between Blackwood and Mulsanne after Mulsanne did not purchase $28.4 million of Blackwood shares last year even though it agreed to do so.