Former IEEFA Transition Policy Analyst Karl Cates has been an editor for Bloomberg LP, an editor for the New York Times, and a consultant to the Treasury Department-sanctioned community development financial institution (CDFI) industry.
NTEC is presumably aiming to turn the Cloud Peak mines around in a bid that, if successful, would support local payrolls in Montana and Wyoming and would also sustain tax and royalty revenues for local and state governments there.
NTEC does not operate the Navajo Mine. The mine is directly managed and operated by Bisti Fuels, a subsidiary of Dallas-based North American Coal, and NTEC has no actual mine-operations experience.
NTEC has not published a business plan for its acquisition of the Cloud Peak mines and how it plans to turn them around. Production has been in decline for years at all three mines.
The Navajo Transitional Energy Company (NTEC), wholly owned by Navajo Nation, has proposed buying three coal mines (Antelope, Spring Creek and Cordero Rojo) owned by the recently bankrupt Cloud Peak Energy.
NTEC proposes spending $15.7 million in cash, signing onto a $40 million promissory note, paying $20 million in overdue accounts payable and paying $94 million in back taxes and royalties. The deal would come also with ongoing royalty payments to Cloud Peak and $400 million in reclamation and lease-bond obligations.
An IEEFA report published last week— "Proposed Navajo Acquisition of Bankrupt Coal Company Is an IllTimed Gamble”— describes the many significant risks such a transaction would bring.
That report questioned the revenue projections NTEC has tied to the project. It also questioned what appears to be an outdated mindset among the executives who operate NTEC. This follow-up raises 13 questions around the deal—not just about the business prudence of the proposed acquisition but also whether it was put together properly and if it comports with NTEC’s responsibility to its owner, Navajo Nation.
Please view full report PDF for references and sources.