Pike River Coal shares fall in Australia
The price of Pike River Coal Ltd shares plunged in Australia before they were placed in a trading halt after reports of an explosion at the company's mine on the West Coast of the South Island.
The share price fell 4c, or 4.35 percent, to 88 New Zealand cents in New Zealand but brokers said news of the explosion at around 4.30pm had not spread and volume of trading was not large. The share price of shareholder New Zealand Oil and Gas fell 3c to 120.
James Smalley at Hamilton, Hindin, Greene said the dual-listed stock was "smacked" in Australia before it was placed on trading halt. The shares were halted at 61 Australian cents, which equates to around 77 New Zealand cents.
"It was after the New Zealand market closed that we got the first inkling but the stock was sold off toward the end of the day," Mr Smalley said.
The trading halt in Australia did not go on until 5.40pm NZ time.
Mr Smalley said the company's executives had visited with investors this week and at that meeting the issue of gas in the mine had been discussed.
The mine had relatively high levels of methane and when coal is cut methane seeps out. However, the mine is a wet mine, which reduces the dust that can be ignited, investors were told.