Administrator Brian McMaster.
Administrator Brian McMaster.

The sale of debt-laden Griffin Coal will be affected by the uncertainty of the Federal Government's proposed resources super profit tax but it would not derail the embattled group's auction, according to its administrator.

Speaking to the _West Australian _from New York where he is consulting bondholders of Ric Stowe's former coal empire, KordaMentha administrator Brian McMaster also had good news for Griffin's workforce in Collie.

Mr McMaster lashed suggestions last week that he was considering ending Griffin's lucrative supply contract with Worsley Alumina in order to run a skeleton staff in a drastic bid to cut costs, saying the rumours were "utter fiction".

"It is simply not true and more to the point the word Worsley was never mentioned in the bondholder meetings (where the rumours sprang from)," he said.

Mr McMaster said he was encouraged by the meetings, and talks with financing companies specialising in loans to bankrupt firms, that he could raise funds to expand Griffin's fledgling coal export business.

He was in the process of finalising discussions with Fremantle Ports for more coal-shipping capacity.

Mr McMaster said that given he was trying to complete Griffin's sale process by September, it was inevitable that the uncertainty surrounding the impact of Canberra's proposed tax would affect the value of the company but that this could be countered by other factors such as future growth plans and a possible rebate of royalties under the Federal scheme.

Griffin, with debts of at least $700 million - including about $4 million to WA taxpayers for missed royalties - went into administration in January after failing to make a $25 million payment to US bondholders (owed about $525 million) and defaulting on a $5 million tax payment.

The West Australian

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