RESOLUTE Mining appointed Stuart Gale, the gold miner’s former CFO, as its permanent CEO, the company said today.
Gale was Resolute’s interim CEO following the surprise departure of John Welborn in October. Speaking at that time, Martin Botha, Resolute’s non-executive chairman, said the firm wanted to “… introduce a new CEO to take Resolute forward, to deliver improvement in operational outcomes and resilience”.
Botha said today the company had conducted a global search for a CEO during which time “… Stuart has provided excellent leadership as interim CEO”. He had “clearly proven himself as the leading candidate for the role,” he said.
Resolute also appointed Terry Holohan as the company’s new COO. Holohan joins Resolute from PT Archi Indonesia and had previously worked as business manager of Anglo Platinum Smelting and Refining, senior vice president of Ivanhoe Nickel & Platinum.
Resolute’s current COO, David Kelly, would remain with Resolute, to “… ensure a smooth transition of the COO function and continue as a member of the executive team”, the company said. Resolute is also seeking a CFO to replace Gale.
Gale’s priorities remain the improvement of the firm’s Syama gold mine Mali where production problems have been a feature lately.
Shares in Resolute were just over 2% weaker in London following news of Gale’s appointment, but they have generally staged a recovery from all-time lows at the end of March.
This was after Resolute announced that the optimisation of Syama would yield higher average annual gold output during the mine’s forecast 11-year life.
Resolute forecast gold output of 250,000 to 300,000 ounces a year from Syama at an average all-in sustaining cost of $1,000/oz from now until 2029. This compares to 2020 production from the Mali mine of 214,360 oz at an average AISC of $1,203/oz.
In terms of group production, the company has forecast total gold production of 350,000 to 371,000 oz this year.
One other early task for Resolute would be deciding on its strategy for Bibiani, the mothballed Ghana mine that it attempted to sell for $105m earlier this year before the deal was blocked by the Ghanaian government.
Gale said at a first quarter update in April that his company would hold Bibiani before deciding how to proceed. It had the option to reopen the mine for itself, he said.
“We can sell Bibiani and we have the option to develop it,” said Gale. “It is still relatively raw in terms of the process we’ve gone through with the government. We will sit tight for a period of time until things have become clear.”
The company had refunded a $5m deposit paid by Chifeng Jilong Gold Mining Company, the proposed buyer of the mine until the Ghanaian government stepped in.
Resolute also produces gold from Mako gold mine in Senegal.