I've wondered if there was more to that loan than meets the eye. Perhaps Civelli wanted to accept a deal and Phil didn't. And the 2.5% of Elk/Antelope posted as security was to guarantee that Phil signed off on a deal before the end of the year.
I think Civelli and Phil have a genuine conflict of interest. As a financier, Civelli wants the money. Having it tied up in PNG means lost opportunity elsewhere. Phil is an oil man with all his eggs in the PNG basket.