AS the largest listed Australian gold producer, Sandeep Biswas’ Newcrest Mining derives most of its 2.4 million ounces in annual production from the Australasian region. It has a small toe-hold in West Africa’s Côte d’Ivoire through its 120,000 oz to 140,000 oz/year Bonikro gold mine. However, the mine has a brief four years of reserves left which has sent Newcrest on the exploration trail. Newcrest has a clutch of exploration properties, most notably Côte d’Ivoire’s Seguela over which it exercised a purchase option in October. In terms of the option with Apollo Consolidated it has the right to fund two years of exploration at the property in return for control at a cost of $3.5m. Newcrest also has investments in a number of other properties, some of which are at the first phase exploration level, such as Cape Lambert’s and Kodal Minerals’ Dabakala prospects. However, the main reason we include Biswas in this years Rainmakers & Potstirrers is based on the potential of a heads of agreement with Randgold Resources to jointly explore areas of common interest in Côte d’Ivoire. Known mostly to South African readers as Harmony Gold’s partner in the large Golpu-Wafi copper/gold project in Papua New Guinea, Newcrest has potential to be a bigger player in the African continent going forward.
LIFE OF SANDEEP
A chemical engineer, Biswas arrived in Brisbane, Australia when he was six after his father took up a teaching job in mining and metallurgy at the University of Queensland. He began his career at Mt Isa Mines before taking up posts with Western Mining and Rio Tinto where he had significant exposure to the aluminium industry. Newcrest impaired A$2.5bn the month before Biswas started work as CEO and MD. A vegan pescetarian, Biswas enjoys fly-fishing and golf.
“Understand the fundamentals and you will always be better off.”
- Web Address: www.newscrest.com.au