The mining industry is mourning the loss of Cokal Limited chairman and former Waratah Coal managing director Peter Lynch, 52, who died in a tragic accident in Perth, Western Australia, on January 26. He and his partner Endah Cakrawati were killed when the seaplane he was flying crashed into the Swan River during Australia Day festivities.

The Grumman G-73 ‘Mallard’ plane nose-dived into the water at around 5pm in front of thousands of horrified onlookers lining the foreshore.

Peter Lynch had 30 years of experience in mining, predominantly coal, in Australia and overseas, including Indonesia. His most recent experience has been with Indonesian focused coal company Cokal, which he founded in 2009.

In a statement the company said: “The Cokal team and its Board are deeply saddened by the sudden unexpected passing of their chairman and friend. Mr Lynch was incredibly proud of Cokal and had worked tirelessly for its success.

“Peter was a driving force behind the formation of Cokal and the development of its Indonesian project and his commitment, determination and leadership were a true inspiration to all in the company. He will be missed enormously by all in the Cokal team.”

Peter and his partner had recently moved to Perth from Brisbane for Peter to take a role as business development director at Fortescue Metals Group. Endah Cakrawati worked as investor relations manager at Cokal.

Waratah Coal also issued a statement. “Peter was well known and respected in the mining community throughout Australia and South East Asia.

“Peter commenced his career as an open cut mining engineer in 1989 at German Creek Coal Mine. He quickly advanced through the ranks and carved out a career in underground coal mining, becoming a senior mining engineer and undermanager at one of German Creek’s underground mines known as Central Colliery, where he worked until 1993.”

The statement describes Peter Lynch as being “business savvy” and as having an “entrepreneurial spirit”. He worked large-scale underground and open cut coal projects in the Bowen Basin from 1994-2005, including at Oaky North Underground and Moorvale Open Cut.

“In 2006, Peter joined Waratah Coal as managing director and provided Waratah with a vision to develop the Galilee Basin as a vertically integrated mine, rail and port project,” the statement reads. “His dedication to the Galilee Basin and Waratah allowed him to strike up strong enduring relationships with many state owned enterprises from China.”

It describes his “enormous enthusiasm for the business and the Galilee Basin”.

“His zest for business flowed into his personal life, where his passions for restoring cars, boating and flying, were infectious.”

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