Canada-based Argonaut Gold has appointed professional engineer and geologist Marc Leduc as COO.
"Marc and I worked closely at Barrick Gold and most recently in a private venture. I believe that Marc has the right skills set to facilitate Argonaut's repositioning to a lower cost North American gold company with significant organic growth opportunities," stated president and COO Richard Young.
He said Leduc would work with the Argonaut team on completing and commissioning of the flagship Magino mine, in Ontario, evaluating the potential for operational improvements and the sulphide potential at Florida Canyon, in Nevada, and pursuing organic growth opportunities within the Mexican asset portfolio.
Leduc's career spans more than 40 years and includes all aspects of the mining cycle. He has been involved in the exploration, design, permitting, construction, commissioning, and operation of gold mines, including many complex heap leach projects.
Since 2006, Leduc has been in executive positions at several publicly traded companies, including interim president and CEO of NewCastle Gold, one of the companies that comprised part of a three-way merger to form Equinox Gold. At NewCastle Gold, Leduc led the design team that redesigned the Castle Mountain heap leach project in California into a mine containing 4.2-million ounces of reserve and is expected to be a 218 000 oz/y gold producer.
He was also an integral part of the design, permitting, construction and startup team at Barrick Gold's Pierina mine, in Peru. Recently, Leduc was COO at Kore Mining, focused on the Imperial heap leach project, located in California.
"Argonaut has significant organic growth potential as the company transitions to a lower-cost producer in North America. Having worked with Richard in the past, I am looking forward to the opportunity to join the Argonaut team, which is in the final stages of construction and ramping up to operations in the second quarter, as well as optimizing and growing all of our operating and development assets. With a strong focus on openpit and heap leach gold operations, we will work together to bring further scale to our portfolio of assets,” said Leduc.
Lowe Billingsley, the company's current COO, is resigning to pursue other opportunities but will assist in the transition and stay on as an adviser to the company through the first quarter of this year.
"On behalf of the company, I would like to thank Lowe for his contribution to Argonaut and wish him every success in the future," stated Young.
Edited by: Creamer Media Reporter
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