Coppermoly MD quits

COPPERMOLY’S long-running managing director Peter Swiridiuk has resigned amid a new wave of boardroom power plays.
Coppermoly MD quits Coppermoly MD quits Coppermoly MD quits Coppermoly MD quits Coppermoly MD quits

In what was curiously slotted into the bottom of an announcement on the appointment of Geoff Booth as the new independent chairman and non-executive director, the Papua New Guinea explorer said Swiridiuk decided to resign to pursue other professional interests.

"Peter was the founding managing director of the company and performed a pivotal role in the floating of the company and the advancement of the company's exploration assets over the past five years," Coppermoly said in a statement signed by executive director and company secretary Maurice Gannon.

"The board wishes to thank Mr Swiridiuk for his efforts and contributions during these challenging foundational years, and wish him well in his future endeavours."

In an earlier announcement today, Coppermoly revealed that shareholders Vangold Resources and Pacific Kanon Gold Corporation, which own at least 5% of the company, had triggered a general meeting under Section 249D of the Corporations Act 2001.

The future meeting is centred on removing Coppermoly directors Gannon and Shawn Uldridge and replacing them with Vangold president Bruce Counts and natural resources lawyer Jay Sujir.

Uldridge was appointed a non-executive director after a similarly triggered general meeting in July, with Gannon surviving that attempt to remove him from the board.

The appointment of Booth as Coppermoly's new chairman follows Vangold chief executive officer Dal Brynelsen's resignation from this role in November to focus more on Vangold's projects in PNG.

Booth has more than three decades of experience in global base and precious metal exploration.

"Prior roles have included management of resources with the Citadel Group in the Middle East and feasibility studies for Anvil Mining in Africa," Coppermoly said.

"These were preceded by various technical positions with BHP Billiton and Western Mining Corporation in Australia, focusing on both production and operational excellence. During the 1980s and 90s, Mr Booth worked in North America for a variety of resource and energy companies, including Shell Canada, Suncor and Amax Minerals groups."

Barrick Gold still aims to divest the 72% stakes it earned in Coppermoly's Simuku, Nakru and Talelumas projects in PNG early last year. Coppermoly appointed Odyssey Capital Partners in September as an advisor to restore full ownership of the three projects.

One of the better results from Barrick's December quarter drilling campaign at the Simuku and Nakru tenements was a 33m intersection grading 0.30% copper from a depth of 59m at the Simuku project.

In September, Coppermoly unveiled conceptual mining study results for the Nakru-1 copper-gold deposit, which estimated a net present value of $US291 million based on a copper price of $3.34 a pound, plus other factors such as royalties, tax and mill recovery estimates.

Open cut mining of Nakru-1 was anticipated to produce 19,200 tonnes of copper per year.

With a forecast eight-year mine life, the study assumed there could be a return on investment within two years.

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