Wollongong Coal queried over debts in report

Wollongong Coal has released its annual report, revealing a loss of $92.11 million in the 12 months to March 31, 2014.

This compares with a loss of $386.855 million the previous year.

However, the report's auditor, Grant Thornton Chattered Accountants, has criticised the company for including $67.6 million on its books under "trade and other receivables", saying the amount should be impaired in full.

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"No allowance for doubtful debts has been made in respect of these amounts ... as the directors believe the amounts to be fully recoverable," the report read.

"There is insufficient evidence to support the carrying value as required ... and consequently we believe that the amount should be impaired in full."

In their assessment of the previous year's annual report, the auditors said they could not pass judgment on the financial position of the company, then known as Gujarat NRE, due to the absence of evidence showing how it could repay its debts.

In this year's annual report, prepared for the Indian financial year, the company revealed there has been no production at its Russell Vale operation since it extracted Longwall 5 in December 2013, due to delays in obtaining necessary approval for further longwall blocks.

The report said Wollongong Coal was applying for permission for partial extraction of Longwall 6, but final approval rested with the NSW Department of Planning and Infrastructure.

If the necessary approvals weren't forthcoming, the company would be forced to place the mine in care-and-maintenance mode, Wollongong Coal said.

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