Investors came on board when exploratory drilling turned in heaven sent results - high grade coal samples.
Sitting on a promising asset, Tinkler sold it not once but twice -- first to Macarthur Coal for A$275 million plus a 10% stake in the company and a year later, in 2008, with world coal prices soaring, he sold his stake in Macarthur to global steel giant ArcelorMittal.
His A$1 million gamble turned into a multimillion dollar pile of cash with which he went on a buying spree -- football and rugby league clubs, horse studs, as well as property. He also formed Aston Resources, a mining development vehicle, floated in 2010.
The Aston Resources merger with Whitehaven Coal was his great hope and even diminished by weak coal prices, it remains his main asset.
If the former electrician can't pull another rabbit out of his hat, faith in the Midas touch may be all that remains to stave off bankruptcy.