Victoria gold hunter Navarre Minerals (ASX: NML) is appointing Ian Holland as joint managing director for a transitional period, and then talking the helm alone from next April.
Mr Holland, whose career includes stints at the Renison tin mine in Tasmania and with Xstrata-Mount Isa Mines, has most recently been vice president, Australian operations for Kirkland Lake Gold (ASX: KLA) where he oversaw that company’s Fosterville gold mine in Victoria.
He will be taking charge of Navarre as it zeroes in on large, high-grade gold deposits located within the Stawell Corridor project. The corridor hosts the Stawell mine that for 30 years until 2008 was Victoria’s largest gold operation.
The current managing director, Geoff McDermott, will continue as the other joint managing director until he leaves the board next 31 March.
Mr McDermott has led the company since 2011 and said he was proud of that achievement.
“It’s time for a changing of the guard ahead of the next exciting phase of exploration,” he said.
“Rest assured — I believe the best times for the company are ahead of it.”
During the transition period, Mr McDermott will continue to have responsibility for exploration, while Mr Holland will carry prime responsibility for Navarre’s external relations.
New managing director will take on “unrivalled” portfolio of gold projects
Mr Holland said that, thanks to the work of Mr McDermott and others in the company, Navarre has an “unrivalled” portfolio of high-quality projects.
Those projects are located on extensions to the corridor of rocks that host the Stawell (5 million ounces) and Ararat (1Moz) goldfields.
The discovery of outcropping gold on the margins of the Irvine basalt dome and the high-grade gold in shallow drilling at Langi Logan are the main points of focus for Navarre.
“The key short-term focus will be to unlock the value and potential of the Irvine gold project through an accelerated program and, in the medium term, to realise the value of the broader exploration portfolio,” said Mr Holland.
Those other parts of the portfolio include Tandarra, 50km north-west of the Fosterville mine and 40km from the famed Bendigo goldfield.
Jubilee’s 122sq km licence area includes the historic Jubilee gold mine (operated 1887-1913) that produced 130,000oz of gold at a recovered grade of 12g/t from a single reef. It is located 25km from Ballarat.
Since the mine closed in 1913 there have been no reported modern attempts at sustained exploration. No drilling has been done.