10 Mar 2012

Creditor cautiously welcomes Pike River sale

10:25 am on 10 March 2012

A major creditor of the Pike River Coal mine is remaining cautious about how much money it could get back if the sale is finalised.

Twenty-nine men died in a series of explosions at the West Coast mine which began on 19 November 2010.

Receivers PricewaterhouseCoopers reached agreement to sell the mine to state-owned company Solid Energy on Friday, conditional on due diligence.

Settlement is expected by May this year. No further details about the sale or price will be released until it becomes unconditional.

New Zealand Oil and Gas says Pike River Coal owes it about $30 million.

Spokesperson Chris Roberts says it will not know how much of that will be repaid until more details about the sale are revealed.

Mr Roberts says a sale is better than no sale - especially as it was starting to seem like it might never happen.

Meanwhile, an unsecured creditor is not hopeful of getting any money back.

Contractor George Colligan trained staff at the mine for almost a year and although he has received some money, he says he is still owed about $60,000.

Mr Colligan is resigned to the fact that may never be repaid, but will not know until the sale price is revealed.

He believes he is lucky to get some money back and says he felt shut out by the receivers.