NewLead Signs Deal to Buy Properties with Est. Coal Reserves 18.6M Tons, 143.1M Tons, Secures Contracts Expected to Generate Sales of $873.5M
NewLead Holdings Ltd. (NASDAQ: NEWL) ("NewLead") today announced that the Company has entered into an agreement to acquire title and excavation rights in properties containing 18.6 million tons of estimated coal reserves for $11.0 million. NewLead also entered into an agreement to acquire ownership and leasehold interests in properties containing approximately 143.1 million tons of coal for $55.0 million.
Coal and Natural Gas Reserve Acquisitions As of December 28, 2012, NewLead entered into an agreement to acquire title and mineral excavation rights to 5,000 acres of land in Kentucky. The coal reserves in these properties are estimated to be approximately 18.6 million tons. The transaction is subject to execution and delivery of certain definitive agreements and other closing conditions, but is currently expected to close by January 29, 2013. There can be no assurance that the transaction will be consummated. The consideration of $11.0 million was paid in the form of notes maturing on January 29, 2013. The notes do not accrue interest, but remain subject to a guaranty by the initial purchaser and are secured by a mortgage lien and a security interest in the assets being purchased.
NewLead has also entered into an agreement to acquire ownership and leasehold interests in 18,335 acres in Tennessee containing coal and natural gas and other natural resources. The agreement contemplates that the Company will acquire rights, title, permits and leases to coal mines with total reserves estimated at 143.1 million tons. The transaction is subject to execution and delivery of certain definitive agreements and other closing conditions, but is currently expected to close in February 2013. There can be no assurance that the transaction will be consummated. The agreement contemplates that consideration of $55.0 million shall be payable in cash in two installments; $30.0 million at closing and the remaining $25.0 million on the first anniversary of the closing.
The estimated reserves stated above are as determined by independent appraisals. The methodology used by the independent appraisers was not compliant with the methodology required by the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") in reserve reports and, accordingly, should not be relied upon. Such reserve information is only provided to give the best currently available information. NewLead is undertaking to obtain reserve reports that comply with SEC methodology. Such reports may differ materially from the information provided herein.
The properties in Tennessee and Kentucky also include natural gas wells and projects relating to extraction of timber, sand, gravel, fly ash and dimension stone. Third parties are currently extracting these commodities on the properties and paying royalties.
Coal Supply Contracts NewLead signed two coal supply contracts with creditworthy counterparties for the sale of coal to such parties. Annual revenue from these two contracts is expected to be $184.7 million in the first year, $318.4 million in the second year and $370.4 million for the third and final year.
The first contract provides for the sale of 70,000 tons of coal per month for the first 12 months (840,000 tons annually), increasing to 140,000 tons per month for the second year (1.68 million tons annually) and 210,000 tons per month for the third year (2.52 million tons annually). All tonnage is subject to a variation of 5%. The price was established based on the prevailing market price for coal at the time the contract was entered into.
The second contract provides for the sale of 130,000 metric tons per month for the first 12 months (1.56 million metric tons annually), increasing to 210,000 metric tons per month for the second and third years (2.52 million metric tons annually). All tonnage is subject to a variation of 5%. The price was established based on the prevailing market price for coal at the time the contract was entered into.
NewLead intends to source the coal to meet such contracts from the estimated reserves discussed above, but to the extent it is unable to do so, it will be required to seek to source the coal from other suppliers at the prevailing prices.
Management Company NewLead also entered into an agreement to acquire a local coal mining management company in exchange for compensation, paid in the form $3.0 million in common shares of NewLead and a warrant for $6.4 million in common shares of NewLead. Such acquisition is subject to a number of terms and conditions and there is no assurance it will be consummated. The management company shall be responsible for managing the daily operations of the coal mines and the excavation of the coal from the properties.
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