Guyana Goldfields CEO steps down

first_img…gold sales dip by 13%President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Toronto-based Guyana Goldfields Inc, Scott Caldwell has resigned effective at the close of business today.In a statement on Tuesday, the company said that Caldwell also stepped down as a Director of the company.ormer President and CEO Scott Caldwell“I want to thank the entire Guyana Goldfields team and the Board of Directors for their support as we developed the Aurora Gold Mine over the last few years. I look forward to supporting the company as a shareholder and remain confident in the long term future of the Aurora mine,” Caldwell said in the missive.He joined the company as a Director in 2012 and has been President and CEO since 2013. Caldwell was instrumental in building the company’s Aurora mine on time and on budget.He will be replaced by Allen Palmiere, who assumes leadership of the company as Interim Chief Executive Officer effective today also. Palmiere has over 35 years of operational and financial experience in the mining industry as well as extensive experience in senior executive and leadership roles.Of particular importance is his experience in mine production activities, having formerly held the positions of Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Directors of HudBay Minerals Inc.“Our focus remains on optimising the mine plan for the Aurora Gold Mine (located in Cuyuni-Mazaruni, Region Seven, Guyana) maximising operational efficiencies, and continuing with the permitting and development of the underground mine at Aurora,” Marion added.Meanwhile, Palmiere, an Independent Director, said: “the company has faced some challenges over the last year, and I am confident that the future will demonstrate the value of this asset and it is my pleasure to help in some small way until we complete our search for a permanent CEO”.Interim CEO Allen PalmiereCaldwell’s resignation was announced back in April as part of the settlement of a bitter proxy battle for control of the Canadian company, which owns the Aurora Gold Mine. As part of the agreement, two new independent Directors were appointed to the Board, one of which was Palmiere; while two other long-serving independent Directors also stepped down.The fallout between the dissent shareholders, led by founder and ousted Chairman, Patrick Sheridan, and the company stemmed from poor performance. Back in March, Guyana Goldfields had announced that gold production from Aurora had declined by almost 1.7 million ounces, compared to the corresponding estimates from the previous year.Gold sales dipOn the issue on production, Guyana Goldfields Inc also announced its 2019 Second Quarter results on Tuesday. It was noted that gold production during that period was 37,300 ounces, bringing the total gold produced during the first half of the year to 74,000 ounces. This, the company said, is in line with the annual production guidance range of 145,000 to 160,000 ounces of gold.However, gold sales recorded was 38,300 ounces at a total cash cost (before royalty) of $746 per ounce, representing a 13 per cent reduction from the comparable quarter in 2018. Additionally, cost of sales, including royalty and depreciation, were $1186 per ounce and all-in sustaining costs (AISC) were $1323 per ounce.Moreover, it was reported that the mining company recorded a quarterly mill performance of 7800 tonnes per day (TPD) and a 10 per cent increase from the second quarter of 2018.Meanwhile, underground exploration decline construction was resumed and advanced 164 metres during the second quarter.Over 2 million person-hours accumulated without a lost-time injury, Guyana Goldfields reported.Furthermore, exploration drilling at the Mad Kiss hole MKD, located at Aurora, 187 drilled into the central mineralised zone returned an average of 6.11 grams per tonne gold over a core interval of 301.4 metres starting from 14.1 metres downhole, as reported back in May.With regards to the strike at Aurora earlier this month, during which some employees blocked the delivery of ore to the mill, the company noted that the work stoppage lasted three days, with employees agreeing to return to work on July 5, 2019. Stemming from that strike, however, the gold producer estimates that approximately 22,500 tonnes were not processed from operational days lost. But this, it noted, will not affect the third quarter production guidance.In addition, it was reported that the company on April 30 last, elected to retire the principal balance outstanding of its $35 million loan facility. Balance sheets stand at approximately $38.9 million at June 30, 2019, and no outstanding debt.According to Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Suresh Kalathil, “For the second half of the year, further operational efficiency initiatives are in the pipeline, however, realising the full benefit of these initiatives will not be immediate.Our entire team is focused on operational optimisation efforts to further reduce costs and improve operating efficiencies. Additionally, gold production in the second half is expected to be back-end weighted with the fourth quarter accounting for approximately 60 per cent of the forecast ounces as the plan calls for approximately half of the mill feed to be sourced from stockpiles in the third quarter due to sequencing of the pit phases at Rory’s Knoll.”last_img

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