Pluton Resources’ management regains control of company

Pluton Resources’ management has regained control over the company after its major shareholder and creditor General Nice Resources (GNR) agreed to retire KordaMentha as receivers and managers.

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This came around five months after a receiver was first called in amid plunging iron ore prices and debt disputes with its creditor Rizhao Port Group Logistics. Operations at its Cockatoo Island project was also suspended.

“Today marks a significant turning point for Pluton. [Pluton] is back under the control of its board and has taken the first step back towards trading and creating value for our shareholders,” the Australian iron ore junior’s chairman Paul D’Sylva said on Monday March 23.

He admitted, however, that Pluton still faced a lot of challenges, particularly the deflated iron ore prices. The miner hopes to return its shares to quotation on the Australian Securities Exchange “as soon as is practically possible”.

Metal Bulletin’s 62% Fe Iron Ore Index has already dropped 23% so far this year to $54.81 per tonne cfr Qingdao on Monday 23, after being halved over the course of 2014.

Pluton’s debt disputes were settled in December last year, when it agreed to a revised prepayment regime of all debts to Rizhao Port Group Logistics. Operations at Cockatoo Island have since resumed.

Separately, Pluton’s contractor Watpac has agreed not to enforce the collection of outstanding pre-receivership debts owed by the iron ore miner for a period of two months.

It will negotiate with Pluton and representatives of GNR for the payment, Watpac said on Tuesday March 24.

“The Cockatoo Island project is an important contract for Watpac and throughout the receivership period we have continued to support Pluton, both financially and through the provision of continuous limited scope mining services,” Watpac md Martin Monro said.

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