Australian regulator probes hoax Whitehaven Coal media release

The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) is investigating whether a protest group has broken the law by producing a fake press release that led to Whitehaven Coal shares slumping by almost 9%.

Paragraph entered by Atlantic migration, in order for SteelFirst articles to display correctly on Metal Bulletin.

The protest group, Front Line Action on Coal, sent a press release on Monday January 7 claiming that ANZ Bank had pulled its A$1.2 billion ($1.3 billion) loan to the miner to develop the Maules Creek semi-soft coking coal project.

The release came from a fake ANZ email address with the bank’s letterhead and the names of actual ANZ corporate staff, according to media reports.

Both Whitehaven and ANZ said on Monday that the release is a hoax.

“ASIC is aware of the hoax press release and, in line with its normal practice, is looking into the matter and has commenced enquiries. We will be speaking to the people involved,” a spokesman for the regulator told Steel First on Tuesday January 8.

“ASIC’s initial enquiries will focus on if there has been a breach of the Corporations Act [on false or misleading statements]. If there appears to be a breach, ASIC will investigate and take timely and appropriate action,” he added.

Whitehaven md Tony Haggarty said the company is looking into any legal action that may be available to it and its shareholders.

“The integrity of the information provided to the public regarding Whitehaven goes to the heart of the market’s integrity and directly affects the price of Whitehaven shares, as well as our many shareholders.

“Whitehaven will liaise with the Australian Securities Exchange and ASIC in relation to [Front Line Action on Coal]’s irresponsible and ill-conceived conduct and trusts those authorities to take the appropriate action,” Haggarty said.

What to read next
Following a six-week consultation period, Fastmarkets can confirm it will amend the calculation method for all the average functions on the Fastmarkets platform from Wednesday March 1, 2023.
Consolidation, the recycling of electric vehicle batteries, US steel exports and the benefits of sustainable steelmaking were key talking points at Fastmarkets’ Scrap & Steel 2023 conference in Dallas in January
Green shoots of increased demand will emerge in US ferrous markets courtesy of the Biden administration’s trillion-dollar infrastructure package in 2023, Schnitzer’s executive vice president and chief strategy officer Richard Peach said at Fastmarkets’ Steel and Scrap Conference 2023 in Dallas, Texas
US special bar quality steel prices rose in January in line with rising scrap and alloy costs, according to market participants
European metal industry association Eurometaux has called on the European Commission to follow the lead shown by the Inflation Reduction Act and deliver a “powerful” policy to support the industry in the EU while it tries to keep up with the move to a new generation of energy markets
The fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is changing global trade flows for bauxite, with Brazilian material once again flowing into China and with the introduction of export restrictions elsewhere likely to influence availability through 2023
We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.