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Guyana reports strong finish 'despite challenges'

Under-pressure miner Guyana Goldfields (TSX: GUY) has met its revised annual production guidance, with president and CEO Scott Caldwell describing a “strong finish to 2018 despite the challenges we faced”.
Guyana reports strong finish 'despite challenges' Guyana reports strong finish 'despite challenges' Guyana reports strong finish 'despite challenges' Guyana reports strong finish 'despite challenges' Guyana reports strong finish 'despite challenges'

Clouds gather over Guyana Goldfields

Staff reporter

The company's share price had plunged in October when it reduced guidance for the second time in 2018 to 150,000-155,000oz, as grades had "not rebounded as quickly as anticipated" and it appointed engineering and geology firm RPA to review the underlying resource model.

Guyana Goldfields reported production of 150,450oz for 2018 and expects 2019 first quarter production to be similar to the December quarter's 42,750oz, its third best quarterly production to date.

Meanwhile a group of concerned shareholders, led by Guyana's founder and former executive chairman Patrick Sheridan, requisitioned a special meeting earlier this month to replace Guyana's board with six new directors.

The group, which combined owns about 5.4% of the company, said they wanted directors who could optimise operational performance, repair the relationship with the government of Guyana, turn the share price around and execute a value-maximising transaction.

"In just one week, the overwhelming support that we've received from shareholders who have contacted us is a testament to the strong desire for change at Guyana Goldfields," Sheridan said on Thursday.

He had resigned as a director in October and had been executive chairman until July 2018, when the position was eliminated "to streamline the organisational structure under the leadership of" Caldwell.

The company said it had recently made four key appointments which "in combination with the departure of certain former executives, have increased the board independence, improved corporate governance, enhanced relations with the government of Guyana, reduced conflicts-of-interest and provided a more streamlined, efficient and accountable management structure".

It said on January 2 it would review the requisition and respond appropriately in due course.

The miner reported a cash balance of about US$82 million at the end of December with debt reduced to $40 million.

It plans to report 2019 guidance along with its financial results on March 26.

Guyana Goldfields shares were trading around $5 a year ago and fell to $1.24 in November.

They closed up 5c yesterday to $1.72 to capitalise it over $298 million.