Alacer Gold boss steps down

Ahead of the proposed sale of Alacer Gold’s Australian assets company chief executive David Quinlivan will step down from his position.

The announcement is one of a number of management changes and will see Quinlivan replaced by the company's chief financial officer Rodney Antal.

Alacer said its Australian operations, including the Higginsville mine and the South Kalgoorlie mine, will be put on care and maintenance over the next 12 to 18 months as it attempts to offload the assets.

"Alacer advises that the sales process for its Australian assets is continuing and discussions with a number of interested parties are well-advanced," Alacer said in a statement.

"In the meantime, the corporation is implementing an operating strategy for its Australian Business Unit that focuses on near-term cash maximisation."

The company will also halt its Australian development and exploration activities, instead opting to speed up cost cutting initiatives.

"Alacer believes that at current Australian dollar gold prices, this strategy will generate positive cash flows until either a sale is completed or the operations are placed into care and maintenance," the company said.

According to the West Australian, Antal said recent gold price volatility and the time taken to finalise asset sales were the key reasons behind the company’s decision to pursue a strategy aimed at maximising short term cash generation.

Alacer recently finalised the sale of its 49 per cent share in the Frog's Leg gold mine, located near Kalgoorlie, to joint venture partner La Mancha Resources in a deal worth $149 million.

In his address at last week’s Diggers & Dealers forum in Kalgoorlie Quinlivan confirmed the falling gold price could see some of Alacer's gold assets be put into care and maintenance if not sold.

He explained there was a widespread view that the company's Australian assets are a "drag" on its Turkish operations.

It's open-pit Cöpler mine, located about 120 kilometres southwest of Erzincan, in Turkey last year produced 188,756 ounces of gold at a total cash cost of $375 an ounce.

Quinlivan said there has been about 12 interested groups looking at its Australian gold operations, and due diligence processes have commenced.

He explained there has been some Asian backed interest in the assets and Rio Tinto's recent sale of Northparkes was a good indicator, saying the sale was completed at a "substantial" price.

Rio sold its 80 per cent stake in the Northparkes copper mine to China Molybdenum for $US820 million ($AUD892.37 million) last month.

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