Whitehaven Coal Limited (ASX Code: WHC) announced that it has procured all necessary approvals from its banking consortium for an amendment of the company’s A$1.2bn corporate debt facility established in December 2012.
The debt facility was established in order to refinance Whitehaven’s existing facility and provide needed funding for the construction of the Maules Creek project.
According the to the company’s ASX announcement, the original covenant package included an interest coverage ratio test being first applied in December 2014.
However, due to unforeseen delays with the Maules Creek project, and despite being in compliance with all covenants, Whitehaven Coal decided to readjust the interest coverage ratio test with the reviewed production timeline of Maules Creek.
The first date for the interest coverage ratio test is now the earlier of December 2015 and the first half year following achievement of quarterly saleable production at Maules Creek of 3.5Mtpa on an annualised basis.
The newly amended covenant now accommodates the delays to the Maules Creek project, and it is also redesigned to provide flexibility to match the project timetable.
The first coal for the project is currently expected in the first quarter of CY2015.
Whitehaven Coal further confirms that there have been no amendments in terms of prices regarding the underlying facility and also firmly states that its 75% share of the remaining construction budget for the Maules Creek project is funded.
“The realignment is a sensible and practical outcome for Whitehaven and the Maules Creek project. I would like to thank our banking group for their continued strong support as we develop this world class project. This is not just a strong endorsement of Maules Creek but a testament to the strength of our existing business which continues to perform strongly,” said Whitehaven’s Managing Director and CEO, Paul Flynn.