Wollongong Coal investors visit mines

Major Indian investors of the recently renamed Wollongong Coal have backed their financial support with a visit to the company's Illawarra mines.

Company chairman Jasbir Singh on Thursday hosted a delegation of senior State Bank of India directors, taking them on a tour of the Russell Vale and Wongawilli coalmines and the Illawarra coastline.

The visit was designed to cement a strong financial bond between the two organisations, Mr Singh said.

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India's largest state-owned financial institution has a large stake in Wollongong Coal - formerly Gujarat NRE - and recently agreed to allowed the mines' new owner, Jindal Steel, to restructure $150 million worth of loans and guarantees.

The agreement, which has helped to lift the company out of the financial ruin it faced last year, will allow an extra six years to pay off a $33 million loan, as well as access to bank guarantees that had expired under the old management.

Mr Singh said the visit was a positive sign for Wollongong Coal's future.

"These visits confirm that lenders are again showing their confidence in the future of the company and shall help in raising future capital requirements," he said.

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