Liquidation orders still hang over Gujarat

Gujarat NRE Coking Coal may hope to move on from its troubled past with a name change to Wollongong Coal next week, but the Illawarra miner's future is still under threat from several firms pursuing liquidation orders.

In a corporate update this week, company secretary Sanjay Sharma revealed Gujarat had successfully negotiated and settled a previous winding up order lodged by RUS Mining in October last year.

However, since then 4.5 per cent Gujarat shareholder, UIL Singapore, has filed a notice of appearance with the NSW Federal Court and indicated their intention to liquidate the Illawarra company over a $15.81 million debt.

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PCL Shipping will make an appearance in support of the UIL order over a $3.54 million debt, Gujarat said.

The hearing for the winding up order is scheduled for March 4.

Meantime, engineering firm Ellton Conveyors has lodged its own winding up proceedings in the NSW Supreme Court over $2.86 million.

According to Mr Sharma, Gujarat is "seeking necessary legal advice on the above matters and intends to vigorously defend the actions".

"The company will continue to update the market on any development in relation to these matters."

British Marine and Ultrabulk have also launched legal action, claiming they are owed $2.72 million and $2.79 million respectively.

In better financial news for the Illawarra miner, Jindal Steel substantially increased its share in Gujarat this month, with the latest notice showing the Indian steel and power giant holds 69.29 per cent of the coal miner after it recently bought an extra 330 million shares.

Mr Sharma also revealed private Indian bank Axis recently invested $3.2 million in the company, taking up 40 million shares at 8¢ each.

Additionally, just weeks after sacking several workers in the latest round of redundancies, the company announced it had recruited mining engineer David Stone as the new chief operating officer.

Mr Stone has previously worked in senior roles with Xstrata Coal and Anglo American and also worked with BHP and as a mining consultant.

A shareholder vote on changing the company's name to Wollongong Coal will take place on February 25.

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