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Raising the bar, going underground Part Two

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In the finale to this two part article, we look at the future ahead for contract miner Barminco. To read the first half of the article, click here.

Growth on the horizon 
While there is growth in Australia, many contractors have had to look overseas to regions more open to financial investment in mining. 

Barminco recently carried out a five year high yield bond in the US which extended its loan facility by six months. 

It looked to the US as "Australian banks are more conservative than US banks due to sovereign risk, and UK bonds get Africa more, which is why we went to a high yield bond which can allow us to refocus on our business, and it was very successful," he told Ferret.  

When asked if the company considered carrying out another IPO, after the previous $600 million listing failed in 2011 due to "unfavourable and volatile market conditions", Stokes dismissed the idea for now. 

While Barminco "have the ability to [carry out a listing] now, and the first [IPO] fell around the time of the Greek crisis, we would still be a few years out looking at the current climate". 

It is also looking overseas for other growth opportunities. 

While it already has the joint venture AUMS business in Africa, Stokes stated that "our next step outside Australia will be into Asia, although part of our two year plan also includes looking at Latin American," he added. 

Acquisitions could also be in the pipeline for the contractor. 

"Our first thought would be partner for work in South America, in a similar fashion to Ausdrill in Africa, as going into Latin America brings a number of new challenges, and whether we partner up or buy a local company to get a foot in the market." 

Bringing the focus back to Australia, Stokes said the company could look towards consolidation in the underground market to expand its current services, "potentially into raise boring". 

The future 
The contractor is marching out of time with the rest of the market, and being successful because of it. "There are these opportunities to grow that we are seeing in greenfields, and convincing owner operators to let us do [the mining]," Stokes explained. With the ability to continually raise the bar and set new benchmarks, while at the same time aiding the greater shift into underground mining, it will likely be an easier job convincing these mine owners as time roll

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