Friday, December 15, 2017
Brad Gordon

Brad Gordon

Acacia Mining

THE speculated sale of Barrick Gold’s 63.9% stake in Acacia Mining continues to dominate the headlines for the Tanzanian gold miner with even Gordon acknowledging that he didn’t know the “how or when” of the affair. Certainly, there were no takers from among South African gold producers when approached last year with a $1.9bn deal – so the chit-chat goes. Perhaps the gold price run and upturn in Acacia’s operating fortunes have made the company too expensive – not that Gordon will care a jot about that. Acacia is on course to better the 2016 production guidance of up to 280,000 ounces despite milling problems at Bulyanhulu, thanks to stand out performances at Bugwazi, where production was hedged in January 2016, and North Mara. Gordon said the firm would “reap the benefits” of a transitional 2015 and this has proved true with some 15% to 30% of free cash flow being pumped into dividends; the interim dividend was 43% higher, for instance. Acacia’s exploration budget has also been hiked 30% to $25m for 2017. A tax dispute with the Tanzanian government, which led to a $70m provision, hints at potential trouble ahead as John ‘bulldozer’ Magafuli, Tanzania’s confrontational president, asks miners to build smelters and list their shares on his country’s stock exchange. Preliminary discussions with Endeavour Mining could result in a game-changing transaction.

LIFE OF BRAD

A mining engineer by training, Gordon rose through the ranks at Placer Dome before becoming CEO of Emperor Mines, a subsidiary of Durban Roodepoort Deep. He became CEO of Intrepid Mines after its merger with Emperor. He has had other stints at Sons of Gwalia, Aurion Gold and Delta Gold. Gordon holds a Mining Engineering degree from the Western Australia School of Mines and an Executive MBA from INSEAD, France.

“Talks with Endeavour could result in a game-changing transaction.”