Saturday, December 15, 2018
J Paul Rollinson

J Paul Rollinson

Kinross Gold

IN July, Rollinson’s Canadian outfit Kinross Gold unveiled $500m in new debt through the issue of senior notes which it used to replace notes due in 2020. It meant the firm had $1bn in cash and equivalents as well as $1.4bn in credit for total liquidity of $2.5bn. This was important financial surgery because by September came the decision to proceed with the second phase of Tasiast, which Kinross anticipates will be its Mauritanian money tree. It also announced the $230m expansion of Round Mountain Phase W in Nevada, but Tasiast is the important one for our purposes. Set at investment of $590m – lower than the $630m in its pre-feasibility – Tasiast is set to reach commercial production in the third quarter of 2020 of 812,000 oz/year, more than a third of Kinross’ total output. It will also help mitigate the short life risk of its Chirano, Kupol and Fort Knox operations. Tasiast in its first phase will reach commercial production in the second quarter of 2018, but it’s the second phase that makes the difference. Cumulative production will be 6.3 million oz between 2020 and 2029 during which costs will be slashed while generating $2.2bn in free cash flow – assuming a gold price of $1,200/oz. Rollinson declared it “great news” for investors, but it’s also a massive fillip for the far-flung Mauritania.


Rollinson is a qualified mining engineer and geologist who ran Deutsche Bank’s Americas mining division. He took over Kinross in 2012 where he had been head of corporate development, reversing his own decision to proceed with the Tasiast expansion. Rollinson was also deputy head of investment banking at Scotia Capital. He comes from mining stock: his father was a metallurgist and consequently lived in Canada’s wide-open spaces. Fishing, skiing and boating are among his interests.