Bardoc Gold appoints executive director to manage strategic review of namesake project
Perth-based Bardoc Gold (ASX: BDC) has appointed founding director Neil Biddle to the role of interim executive director to manage a strategic development review of its flagship Bardoc project in Western Australia’s eastern goldfields.
Mr Biddle has a track record of value creation in Australia’s junior and mid-tier mining sector.
He played a pioneering role in the development of the nation’s lithium industry as one of the founders of Pilbara Minerals (ASX: PLS), together with fellow Bardoc directors Tony Leibowitz and John Young.
Mr Biddle led the strategy that saw Pilbara acquire, explore and ultimately develop the high-grade Pilgangoora lithium-tantalum project, 120 kilometres from Port Hedland.
Mr Biddle is also currently managing director of Greenvale Mining (ASX: GRV), which is developing the Alpha torbanite project in central Queensland, and a non-executive director of Trek Metals (ASX: TKM).
When the Bardoc strategic review is complete and the company’s future direction determined, Mr Biddle will revert to the role of non-executive director.
Escalating cost environment
The strategic review of the 3.07 million ounce Bardoc gold project, located 40km north of Kalgoorlie, has been prompted by a rapidly-escalating cost environment in the WA resources sector, as well as a tightening labour market and challenges facing new projects as a result of COVID-19.
The review will consider alternative ways of unlocking the project’s value given its premium location, large resource and reserve base and strong economics.
These are likely to include an increased exploration focus to pursue avenues for resource growth and new discoveries; possible merger, acquisition and consolidation opportunities; and other development or production pathways with potential to monetise the deposit.
The review has resulted in a deferment of the project’s final investment decision, originally slated for later this year.
Bardoc will now focus on a resource expansion drilling program at the cornerstone Zoroastrian deposit.
Bardoc chairman Tony Leibowitz said the review was a “necessary and pragmatic” move which will ultimately deliver positive outcomes for shareholders.
“It has become increasingly clear [to us] that a rising cost environment across the WA resource sector has made this a very challenging time for any company to launch a significant new mine development,” he said.
“We are not prepared to expose our shareholders to this level of risk at a very challenging time in the resources cycle, and we are certainly not willing to take on significant amounts of debt and potentially blow our capital structure out to develop a project.”
He said the company had terminated any expenditure related to pre-development and project funding activities and plans to review other corporate overheads and costs across the business.