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News | Europe


New chair for UK Coal Authority


Energy Minister John Hayes has appointed Stephen Dingle as the new chair of the Coal Authority in the UK. Mr Dingle has had a career as an investment banker and financial advisor. He spent the majority of his career at NM Rothschild & Sons Ltd and latterly he specialised in advising on the financing of commercial property for clients in both the public and private sectors as a partner with Ernst & Young LLP. His appointment is for a four year period and he will assume office on 1 April 2013. He will receive a remuneration of £27,000 per annum. The Coal Authority was established by parliament in 1994 with specific statutory responsibilities associated with licensing coal mining operations in the UK, handling subsidence damage claims, property and historic liability issues, such as treatment of mine water discharges and providing public access to information on past and present coal mining operations.


New director at Loesche


Loesche ThermoProzess GmbH has appointed 44 year old Michael Nisch as director of sales of Thermo Process Technology.


Loesche is an owner-managed, export-oriented company, which was founded in Berlin in 1906. The company operates from its head office in Düsseldorf and has subsidiaries, representatives and agencies around the world.


In 1928 Loesche built the first spring- loaded air-flow mills, which today are still known as Loesche mills. Nowadays, Loesche vertical mills form the core of many plants used to dry-grind coal, cement raw materials, granulated slag, industrial minerals and ores.


It manufactures grinding plants with throughputs from 2 to 1000 tph for the cement industry and self-inert, central coal-grinding plants for hard and brown coal power stations. It also provides vertical mills and turnkey grinding mills. In April 2012, Loesche ThermoProzess GmbH (LTP) was


Loesche director, Michael Nisch


founded as a subsidiary of the Loesche group, arising from the taking over the specialised department Küppersbusch Combustion Technology. At present, around 400 employees are working for Loesche in Germany, and around 850 are employed worldwide.


UK Coal restructures to become Coalfield Resources plc


On 10 December 2012, UK Coal confirmed that the restructuring of the business has been completed. This process began on 14 March 2012 and involved a wide range of parties including customers, Pension Funds, banks, shareholders, the Coal Authority, the Pensions Regulator and the Department for Energy and Climate Change.


Commenting on the restructuring Jonson Cox chairman said, “this has been a restructuring of unprecedented scale and complexity for this size of company, dealing with a legacy structure that was inherited on the privatisation of British Coal in 1994. I’m delighted that we’ve succeeded in completing it. Without it, it was almost certain that the coal mines would have been unable to trade beyond the first quarter of 2013.”


UK Coal will be renamed Coalfield Resources plc. The company’s operations have been restructured into two separate businesses comprising the Mining Division (under UK Coal Mine Holdings Ltd and the Property Division (under Harworth Estates


Property Group Ltd. Control of the Mining Division has passed to a newly established Employee Benefit Trust (EBT) which holds shares representing 67% of the voting, and 10% of the economic rights in Mine Holdings for the benefit of current and future employees of the Mining Division. The company retains 90% of the economic, and 33% of the voting, rights in Mine Holdings, but the company’s and EBT’s shareholding both rank behind the debt to the Pension Funds.


The company owns 24.9% of Harworth Estates, with 75.1% having passed to the Pension Funds in return for a £30M cash injection and their support to the mines.


Jonson Cox continued: “the restructuring has helped to safeguard 2,500 highly skilled and well-paid jobs, a skilled supply chain, and created a funding plan for the £450M pension deficit that UK Coal has been burdened with. Without this restructuring, the costs would have fallen by now to the British taxpayer and the Pension Protection Fund.”


“The support provided has given


a final chance to the mining business, mine management and the workforce, to adopt the changes needed to ensure safe, reliable and efficient production for the next five to 10 years. While we have successfully reduced deep- mine manpower costs by 12.5%, and started to change working practices, our inherited cost structure still remains too high and labour productivity too low. All surplus cash flow from the mines will go to fund pension deficit for the foreseeable future. I hope this will assist our workforce in supporting further change.”


“On the property front, our


successful sales programme of the last two years has enabled us to halve the group’s bank debt, in turn allowing this restructuring to proceed. We now look forward to achieving the medium and long term realisation of value from the portfolio, for the benefit of shareholders and the pension funds.” Mr Cox added that he would like to thank all the stakeholders for understanding the gravity of the situation and helping the company to achieve this result.


Coal International • January February 2013 29


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