Under-siege contractor Brierty has slipped the hangman, announcing last night that it had been cleared to restart mining on a Rio Tinto site — a move that allows the Dalton Gooding-chaired company to get access to a crucial debt facility.

Brierty said it would restart operations at Western Turner Syncline Stage 2 next week.

The work for Rio is worth $100 million, has 18 months to run and employs 65 people. The contract was suspended over safety concerns, which triggered a warning from Brierty’s banker, Bankwest, that a critical $6 million debt facility would be revoked unless the contract work re-started.

Brierty last night said it could access the $6 million and restructure its debt by establishing a new, long-term debt facility that stops the company relying so heavily on its overdraft.

The company’s debt comprises a $10 million overdraft facility (down from $25 million), $10 million in bank guarantees, the new $6 million facility and long-term debt worth $15 million.

“With our main project back on foot and a significantly better working capital position, we can focus on safely and efficiently delivering our existing projects, as well as pursuing additional opportunities to add to our order book,” Mr Gooding said.

“Plus, the lower ongoing interest costs associated with our new capital structure will also enhance our cash generation and profitability.”

Brierty has been struggling since suffering a $22 million blowout on a North West Coastal Highway upgrade last year.

Image: Brierty Chairman Dalton Gooding. The West Australian.