Tuesday, November 20, 2018
John Welborn

John Welborn

Resolute Mining

JOHN Welborn swapped the promise of mining for actual production when he resigned his post as CEO of Equatorial Resources, an iron ore development company, in order to lead Resolute Mining. It’s a move he’s enjoying, if only for the attention: investors are more interested in gold than iron ore, he says. Perhaps that’s true, but it doesn’t make life necessarily easier. Resolute Mining, a gold producer with operations in Mali, Ghana and Australia, wrote down assets for A$572m in its year to June owing to the lower gold price. Resolute consequently suffered a loss. Nonetheless, the prospects for gold are reasonable notwithstanding the period of interest rate increases into which the US Federal Reserve is heading. Welborn is forecasting gold production of 315,000 ounces for the 2016 financial year and the promise of growth as the company seeks an underground extension of its flagship Syama mine, taking total life of mine to 2028. Options are also being weighed up at Bibiani in Ghana whilst Golden Pride, a mine in Tanzania, was mined out last year. As for Equatorial Resources, Welborn is keeping a non-executive post at the firm, but thinks the firm’s iron ore, located in the Republic of Congo, is likely to remain in the ground “for quite some time”.

LIFE OF JOHN

Welborn describes himself as a rugby-playing accountant having represented the Wallabies and Western Force in his youth. Interestingly, his speciality in accounting is insolvency, a skill for which there is high demand in the current mining sector. He was head of specialised lending for Investec and in addition to Equatorial Resources, he is a non-executive director of Prairie Mining and Orbital Corporation. He was appointed CEO of Resolute Mining in July.