Corporate Finance Specialists – assisting clients globally

Below we list a sample of some of our assignments – which can range from a 2 year Debt Advisory role to a 2 month transaction support role, or a financial model rebuild. Testament to our corporate finance abilities is that some clients have also asked us to give their team training as well with some examples listed below also.


Metro Mining Limited, 2019/2020, Brisbane

Mining & Infrastructure:
Rock Financial Advisory was engaged by Metro Mining to obtain project finance debt funding from Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) to fund expansion of their Bauxite Hills mine near Weipa. Approval was received on 12th of November 2019 for $47m.

The funding is to buy a new floating shiploader. Such a vessel will allow loading of larger ships (Panamax and Cape versus Utramax) and also at a faster rate, thus delivering lower opex costs on a $/ t basis. The loan will enable the expansion to proceed, thus lead to 50 more jobs across mine and port, and more than $500 million of public benefits to the local and Cairns areas, over the life of the mine.

The loan from NAIF is at concessional rates, and long repayment tenor (7 years) thus also reducing Metro’s cost of funding.

Our role encompassed all aspects of dealing with NAIF and legal counsel, from creating the project finance financial model to writing all the various documents NAIF require (such as public benefit analysis, indigenous engagement strategy, Australian industry participation plan, and the investment proposal), Loan structuring and negotiation, all legal documentation, and review of, or arranging, all due diligence required (as typical in a project finance loan: market, technical, environmental, social and governance, insurance, legal).

If you have a project in Northern Australia which requires funding, which has an infrastructure element and can also illustrate substantial public benefit – feel free to contact us.  We can explain the complete NAIF debt process.

Adani, 2016/2018, Brisbane

Emma McPherson was engaged to assist securing a circa $900m loan from Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF), for the Carmichael Coal project and 382km rail line.

Emma was also involved in securing > $1.2billion of Export Credit finance and Equipment Financing. 

This required execution of a wide range of tasks: financial modelling, dealing with all potential lenders (NAIF , ECA’s, banks), term sheet review, finalisation of BFS for both mine and rail (38 chapters), daily liaison with our engineers across mine and rail, investor facing role/answering all DD questions from our global Investors, and assisting the CFO in all matters. Emma had ownership of the financial model which aggregated >AUD$4bn of Capex and Opex across the 3 sub-projects of Mine, Below Rail, and Above Rail, which contained > AUD$3bn p.a. in revenues.  Emma was responsible for all financial information disseminated externally re this project. Emma also worked on funding of the solar farms Adani is building in Australia at Rugby Run (NSW) and Whyalla (SA).

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JLL, 2015, Milano

Infrastructure-Commercial real estate in Italy / Valuation Modelling for M&A: One of Italy’s premier commercial real estate firms JLL Italia,  engaged RFA to audit and improve their template financial model/  valuation tool, they use when approached to provide independent valuations.  Our role was to audit and improve this model, which was overly-complex, with many unnecessary formulae and macros, which made it difficult for JLL staff to understand and thus explain to their clients.  We created a much easier-to-understand, and transparent model, (removing all VBA code/ macros and overly complex formulae) which clearly shows how inputs lead to outputs, and thus easier for JLL staff to explain the valuation outcomes to their clients. 

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BHP Billiton, 2014/2015, Brisbane

BHP Billiton’s coal division, BMA, engaged RFA over 8 months in the Brisbane business analysis/ evaluation team. Main tasks were to conduct valuations on existing and potential projects and auditing existing financial models – with particular projects being:

  • Caval Ridge & Daunia: performing PIR (Peer Investment Reviews), where actual performance is compared to what was forecast (what was approved at project sanction date.)
  • Goonyella Riverside: working with mine planners to identify the optimal mine plan for expansion: assessing many different pit mining sequences to report back to the Head of Business Evaluation, which would produce the best NPV.  This involved extensive interrogation of data and all calculations, working closely with the mine planning team,  and a robust knowledge of coal mining.
  • South Walker Creek and Poitrel Mine: audit and update of assumptions
  • All seven BMA mines: comparison of all key inputs and outputs across extraction, processing, and logistics (port and rail) in order to benchmark,  and identify any major difference, and reasons for such.
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Australia and Mongolia
Guildford Coal, 2013/2014, Brisbane

Mining & Infrastructure/ Valuation Financial Modelling for M&A : Coal mines and new rail build in Mongolia

RFA was engaged by Guildford Coal (now called Terracom to execute various  tasks:

  • Audited and re-built the existing operational model, covering GUF’s 7 Mongolian coal mines and rail project (from Mongolian mine south to the Chinese border),  to produce valuations.
  • Travelled to Mongolia to meet with the onsite mine team to further refine the valuation model . Also in Mongolia, completed due diligence on a potential target owned by our JV partner Noble Trading.
  • Assisted the company in other facets: ASK Listing governance / project finance modelling / legal due diligence/ slide decks re potential MA& activity / created financial models and presentations for a potential refinancing.
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Julius Bär, Schweizer Privatbank, 2014, Zurich

Rock Financial Advisory delivered 2 days advanced corporate finance training to a Julius Bär staffmember, one of Switzerlands leading private banks, where the course was tailored to her specific requirements, and taught in German.

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Glencore AG, 2014, Baar, Switzerland

Rock Financial Advisory delivered 5 days intensive training to Glencore staff in Investment Banking, Private Equity, and Mining Valuation. The course was tailored to the clients requirement in terms of both content and level of complexity.

Barrick Gold Corporation, 2013, Cairns

RFA gave 5 days intensive financial training to financial staff from Barrick Gold, PNG and Zambia, who flew to Cairns for the training.  We were able to illustrate how many complex formulae are not so complex, and can be easily constructed to provide better valuation and project finance modelling. The best feedback we can get is when students tell us they were able to go back to the office on Monday and implement everything they’d learnt – and create more efficient/cleaner financial models, that produce results quicker – and generally make their job easier.

Siemens AG, 2013, Nuremberg

RFA consulted to Siemens AG in Nuremberg, Germany re creation of a new template financial model for their health division that they could use going forward when bidding on projects globally.  We delivered an easier-to-use, and more transparent model where users could clearly see the link between inputs and outputs, as well as conduct easy scenario and sensitivity analysis. This will allow Siemens to submit bids faster and also better explain the outcomes to their clients. We also gave training to the team in Advanced Financial Modelling.

2012, Milano

On 28 August 2012, we held the launch function for our first European office in Milano, Italia. The party was held at the Milano Park Hyatt, and thankyou to all who came. We had attendees from the Italian Banking, Private Equity, Real Estate and Industry sectors and thus was an excellent evening of networking, and discussions re project financing and valuations in the current recessionary European environment.

Associazione Italia – Australia, 2012, Roma

The Founder of RFA, Emma McPherson, has been appointed President, Consultative Council for Australian Business.  Se sei un Italiano che vuole fare affari in Australia-possiamo aiutare, chiama noi in Italia on: +39 348 534 3475.

UCL Resources Limited, 2012, Namibia

RFA audited and added project finance calculations to UCL’s financial model re thir marine phosphate mine in Namibia.

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Aquila Resources, 2011/2012, Brisbane

Mining & Infrastructure:  Project Finance and Valuation Modelling for M&A. RFA was engaged to:

  • Audit, amend and update the existing financial model for Aquila’s Washpool coal mine in readiness for its sale, as well as write the finance chapters of the BFS, and liaise with Advisers on the sale (Deutsche Bank)
  • Audit and update the financial model for Eagle Downs underground coal mine, and then ran various sensitivities for management , as well as providing data for court documents re litigation with 50% owner Vale.
  • Refine the Isaac Plains model adding new assumptions and running many cases: particularly decision between toll washing vs building a CHPP onsite
  • Work on the WICET (Wiggins Island Coal terminal) port application : populating the financial model, and then the application, and meeting with WICET owner to discuss application.


Evolution Mining
Evolution Mining, 2011/2012, Sydney

Evolution Mining (ASX:EVN) was the result of various companies merging (NQM and Conquest Mining), and thus ended up owning five excellent gold mines but also 5 different, non-uniform financial models, created by different people, with differing levels of financial and modelling knowledge. RFA was thus engaged to complete 7 separate modelling assignments: 

  • Created a standard Valuation model template and using historical models transformed them into a new model, for each of the five mines: Pajingo, Mt Rawdon, Edna May, Cracow and Mt Carlton. Also interrogated all assumptions with input from site staff and operational team, and amended if necessary. And created Input sheets and sensitivity analysis sheets allowing EVN to easily change inputs and run various cases.
  • Created a new company-level valuation model, aggregating the above 5 mines, and with spare room to easily add as many mines as needed.
  • Created a project finance model for a potential debt financing of one of the mines
Serco/Laing O’Rourke/Bombardier Transportation, 2009/2010, Sydney

RFA created a new financial model for Serco’s Bid for the operations contract of the proposed Sydney Metro underground rail system (Laing O’Rourke providing Infrastructure(rail and station) build, and Bombardier providing rolling stock)

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Serco, 2010, Sydney & Perth

RFA created the financial model for Serco’s winning bid for the 20 year operations contract of the new Fiona Stanley Hospital, to be built in Murdoch (Perth, Australia).  The model  aggregated inputs over 23 service lines and required  detailed interrogation of all data and discussion with all subject-matter experts. It also required extensive calculations re the revenue mechanism which depended on KPI’s being met as well as abatement regime.

Serco was announced preferred bidder in November 2011, and thus the bid team moved to Perth for 7 months where we finalised the contract with the client (the West Australian Dept of Health), and extensive changes were required to the model as we further refined the inputs, and the calculations in the contract changed.

Resource Generation, 2009, Botswana

RFA audited, amended and updated the existing financial model, and added valuation and project finance pages, re coal mines owned by Resource Generation, in Botswana, South Africa.

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Kaplan Professional, 2009, Sydney

The founder of RFA, Emma McPherson was appointed to the panel for Kaplan’s subject Mining Valuation: Emma wrote and marked the exam, where students had to create a financial model based on the Annual Report of Avoca Resources (subsequently purchased by Anatolia Minerals).

Euromoney Training plc and Shinhan Bank Korea, 2009, Hong Kong

Euromoney Training plc sub-contracted RFA to give 4 days training to 20 bankers from Korean bank, Shinhan, in the subject:  “Financial Modelling for Mergers & Acquisitions”. The attendees gave an overall rating of 90% for the trainer and all responded that they would recommend the course to others.