Dart Mining chief quits in mysterious circumstances

THE chief executive of a company mining near Corryong has quit in mysterious circumstances, but the board’s chairman yesterday said the future of the North East project was solid.

Dart Mining chairman Chris Bain said chief executive and managing director Lindsay Ward had left the company before Christmas.

“I can’t give you any detailed reasons, but that’s what has happened,” Mr Bain said.

He did say Mr Ward’s reasons were personal and not related to company concerns.

Mr Bain said the board was searching for a new chief executive and the upheaval was not affecting the Mount Unicorn project, targeting molybdenum, copper and silver deposits.

“We really do want to make sure we get the message out to the community that we’re not stopping — the project is absolutely not dead,” Mr Bain said.

He said a community meeting would be held at Corryong on Wednesday and Dart would release more information about where the company was headed and what the key issues were for the next year.

Doubt was thrown on the viability of the project in November when Dart announced to the Australian Stock Exchange that it had to slow “certain critical steps” in the feasibility study and approvals process after difficulty in separating zinc from copper. This had been exacerbated by depressed molybdenum prices.

“That molybdenum price had fallen very dramatically and it forces us to reassess all aspects of the project,” Mr Bain said yesterday.

“Fundamentally, it’s still a strong project.

“The company’s aim is not to be too spooked by the price.”

Mr Bain said there was always price volatility with commodities and once it rose again, the company should be able to move ahead.

He said the US mining investor Red Kite was still “very supportive” of the project after it shelled-out $5.2 million for it.

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