McAleese gains breach waiver as Atlas haulage rises

Iron ore mining partner sees debt restructure agreed and lifts tonnage shipped

McAleese gains breach waiver as Atlas haulage rises
McAleese and Atlas gain finance breathing space.


The highwire act that is the McAleese-Atlas Iron alliance continues take small steps in the face of economic and market headwinds.

The services-for-equity deal is an important aspect of the confidence respective financiers have, and both firms have announcements reflecting the depth of that.

For McAleese, it comes in the form of a waiver of a breach of financial undertakings in its syndicated facility agreement that occurred in the half year to December 31 and was flagged this month.

"The waiver is subject to the continuation of the strategic process currently being undertaken and the company meeting reporting obligations to its financiers on the strategic process and each financier being satisfied with those reports," the haulage firm says.

The news comes as Atlas reports a "significant" debt restructure agreement, increased tonnes shipped, volatile iron ore prices and further cost reductions.

Iron ore haulage to port rose 12 per cent in the December quarter to 3,656,793 tonnes.

Atlas MD David Flanagan says the debt restructuring agreement in the December quarter was "another important step in making Atlas more sustainable, particularly in volatile iron ore markets".

The miner says it has 80 per cent of creditors on board but would look to a creditors scheme of arrangement if unanimous support is not achieved.

The recent slight rise in the iron ore price is of lower consequence as it still has fixed price deals in place this quarter, though it has gained from the lower Australian dollar.

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