Mining firm New Hope Group defends decision to hold AGM in rural New South Wales, says no live webstream
New Hope Group, a Queensland-based mining company, held its annual meeting in New South Wales’ Hunter Valley on Thursday to ‘localize’. not.
- Shareholder advocate Stephen Mayne said the decision not to webstream the meeting was not for full transparency.
- New Hope CEO Rob Bishop says the move was intentionally intended to help local communities
- Climate-focused resolution garnered 87% of votes against, but shareholder activists still think the vote won
As a diversion from the typical urban setting usually associated with such gatherings, shareholders were invited to tour the company’s local coal mine, Bengalla, prior to attending AGM in Muswellbrook.
The meeting, which was attended by about 50 people, was informed that the site visit did not go as planned due to “agitator” activity in the neighborhood.
Some shareholders questioned the decision to hold AGM in a local city.
Shareholder advocate Stephen Mayne, who also owns a stake in New Hope, said the decision was not meant to ensure full transparency.
“It is very unusual for a company like New Hope, with a $5 billion valuation and 15,000 shareholders, to not offer online AGM,” he said.
“Now it’s pretty standard practice to do a live stream … being able to ask questions online during meetings.
“When there is disagreement, we should be able to talk.”
However, Rob Bishop, CEO of New Hope, said the move was intentionally intended to help the local community.
“Before COVID took the world by storm, we had face-to-face AGM,” he said.
“Now that it’s discontinued, we’ve been very keen to get back to face-to-face AGM where we can interact with our shareholders. Then we can have lunch with them and have a good chat.
“For us, it’s irreplaceable.”
When asked why he banned the streaming of the minutes, Bishop said he thinks he can encourage more people to attend the AGM in person.
“We could, but the board felt that such interaction was important, so more people could attend the meeting,” he said.
Climate-focused resolution rejected
Six of the conference’s eight resolutions passed unanimously.
A resolution requiring companies to disclose how their capital expenditures and coal operations will be managed “in a manner consistent with a scenario in which global energy emissions reach net zero by 2050,” said the resolution. Rejected.
Just over 12% of shareholders voted in favor of the resolution.
Despite this, shareholder activists still think the vote has won, declaring a similar resolution 12 months ago reached a 36% increase.
“This vote is a significant improvement from last year and shows that New Hope shareholders are ready to demand the company stop wasting capital on coal projects stuck under net zero emissions by 2050. ,” said a Market Forces campaigner. Will van de Pol said.
“There remains a large majority within New Hope’s remaining investor base who have been unable to take advantage of this significant opportunity to address growing climate risks.”
Bishop said the results “represent the view of the general consensus of shareholders”.
“There are very few shareholders who have offered it, 0.001% of our shareholder base,” he said.
“All rights to submit those resolutions. No problem with that.”
Strong performance despite challenges
Buoyed by strong coal prices, the company achieved a 120% increase in its closing price to $4.39 in fiscal 2021.
Labor shortages and wet weather cost 60,000 truck hours and reduced production by 4%.
Nevertheless, the company sold 8.8 million tonnes of coal compared with 9.6 million tonnes in the previous year, with an average price of $281.80, an increase of more than $180 per tonne.
Bishop said it resulted in record cash generation.
“We ended the year with just under $1 billion in our account,” he said.
“Before the most recent dividend payment, it was $1.8 billion.
“In all respects, this has been an exceptional year.”
In October, the company received approval to expand its New Acland, Queensland operations, 15 years after filing its first application.
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-11-24/new-hope-group-agm-muswellbrook-nsw/101691666 Mining firm New Hope Group defends decision to hold AGM in rural New South Wales, says no live webstream