Friday, February 22, 2019
Michael Carvill

Michael Carvill

Kenmare Resources

MICHAEL Carvill will have been MD at Kenmare Resources for 30 years this year but it’s questionable whether he’ll be in celebratory mood after scrambling to deliver the company from its debt hole. The two-year odyssey that was the on-off $77m takeover offer from Illuka Resources finally ended in failure in December. The firm’s major shareholder wouldn’t accept the bid leaving Carvill no option but to recapitalise the company. At the time of writing, Kenmare had secured a $100m investment from Oman’s State General Reserve Fund, the sultanate’s wealth fund, provided a further $75m from other shareholders was delivered. The alternative is that Illuka can return for Kenmare’s jewell, the Moma titanium minerals mine in North-Eastern Mozambique – an asset Carvill would have to sacrifice in order to pacify the firm’s lenders. In terms of the current plan, some of the firm’s debt would be converted into shares. The current market slump is a nasty business and Carvill isn’t the only one caught by outsized debt. Operationally, Moma has been performing, producing record heavy mineral concentrate volumes in the third quarter – an outcome that comes after a difficult 2015 in which a river near Moma burst its banks flooding the operation, followed months later by outbreaks of violence that forced Kenmare to temporarily repatriate 62 of its South African employees.


Carvill is a Fellow of the Institute of Engineers of Ireland (FIEI). He holds a BSc in Mechanical Engineering (Queen’s University, Belfast) and an MBA (Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania). He worked as a contracts engineer in Algeria and as a project engineer at Tara Mines, Ireland.