Greatland Gold (LSE: GGP) CEO Gervaise Heddle is to step aside, the AIM favourite announced on Tuesday 15 December. He will be replaced by Shaun Day from 8 January 2021. 

Day is a 20-year veteran investment banker and financial pro across mining and infrastructure. He spent five years as CFO of ASX100-listed Northern Star Resources (ASX:NST), where he oversaw the growth of the global gold producer from a market cap of A$700 million to A$8 billion. 

He noted in comments to the market on Tuesday morning: 

I am delighted to take on the role of Chief Executive Officer of Greatland. Under the leadership of Gervaise, the remarkable progress at the Havieron Joint Venture over the past two years has created a strong platform for future growth. I look forward to working closely with the Board, the Greatland team and our key partners as we continue to drive forward a multi-pronged growth strategy and realise further value for shareholders."

Day leaves his position as CFO of joint-AIM and ASX-listed Salt Lake Potash to head up Greatland Gold. 

It is a measure of our growing reputation as a business that we are able to attract high quality people to Greatland,” said Chairman Alex Borelli. 

Shaun brings extensive industry and regional experience as well as capital markets expertise and is a great addition to our strong management team.We look forward to working with him and benefiting from his extensive experience.”

Heddle said he was “incredibly proud” of what the company had achieved over his four-year tenure, with Greatland now at a “key inflection point”.

With both an Initial Inferred Mineral Resource estimate in place and the construction of the box cut and decline due to commence shortly, I feel now is the natural point for me to hand over the running of the company who can progress it to the next level,” he said.

The former Merrill Lynch fund manager is now moving onto other opportunities.

Heddle will remain on the Greatland Gold board and part of the executive team until 12 March 2021 to oversee the transition, the company said. 

17-bagger journey at Havieron

GGP shareholders have been on a rollocking journey. They have watched the company grow from a market cap of less than £75 million to over £1.3 billion, with a return on investment of over 1,700%. 

The year has seen the Gervaise Heddle deliver on the early promise of its high-grade Havieron gold prospect in Western Australia.

$22bn market cap farm-in partner Newcrest (ASX:NCM) inked not one but two joint venture deals with the British firm on 30 November 2020.

It all started in March 2019 when Greatland Gold signed a $65 million farm-in with the Australian major, with Newcrest taking a 40% interest in the project. Newcrest has completed 111,000m of drilling so far.

The hotly-awaited initial inferred mineral resource from Havieron, reported on 10 December, revealed a resource of 3.4Moz gold and 160,000t copper from a potential bulk underground mining operation. 

Heddle joined Greatland Gold in May 2016 and was instrumental in acquiring Havieron and securing the farm-in and joint venture agreements with Newcrest. 

Alex Borelli praised Heddle for his “tireless commitment and outstanding contribution” to the success of the company.

Under his leadership the team at Greatland has delivered exceptional value creation for shareholders. He leaves Greatland in a strong position and with a clear strategy in place for the potential development of Havieron towards commercial production,” Borelli said. 

Author: Mark Sheridan

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