Goldplat plc (LON:GDP) Chief Executive Officer Gerard Kisbey-Green caught up with DirectorsTalk for an exclusive interview to discuss their latest Trading & Operational Update
Q1: This appears to be a very positive announcement for Goldplat, can you briefly talk us through the highlights?
A1: Yes, we’re very happy with the results, both for the quarter and for the year. In summary, the highlights are number one, the fact that we expect to exceed market expectations for Profit Before Tax for the year and that’s obviously excluding the announced adjustment for the Nyieme write-off. Secondly, I guess, the very strong production numbers with growing momentum and that’s from at all operations. Thirdly, finally after ten years, achieving operational profitability at Kilimapesa Gold Mine in Kenya, even if it came later than we had planned, at least with May and June being profitable which is very exciting for us.
Q2: Gerard, what can you tell me about the progress at Kilimapesa?
A2: As your listeners are aware, we embarked upon an expansion of our processing facilities during the 2017 financial year and essentially, we broke down into two stages. The first stage was completed during calendar 2016 and we’ve announced all of that and we’ve now pretty much completed the second stage, which brought the operation into the operational profitability I referred to earlier. We are not yet running the complete crusher circuit and that’s mainly because of issues with clearing containers through ports, which were out of our control, that resulted in some key equipment and notably safety-related steelwork for example, not being on site in time. We are not prepared to compromise safety so we’ve not commissioned the entire plant until we get all the equipment on site and installed. So, that said, we built up a fine material stockpile, as I alluded to before, last year in anticipation of commissioning so we are milling at stage two levels and to completing commissioning shortly in the quarter of the financial year.
Q3: You mentioned earlier that you’ve written off the Nyieme project, why is that?
A3: We believe that strategically Goldplat should, as per the initial strategy on listing more than ten years ago, grow a primary gold mining portfolio, it’s my belief that this should not be done through early stage exploration. Nyieme has a resource of 92,000 ounces, it’s too small and too early stage for us to consider spending any more money on it, frankly I don’t want us to get into exploration and nor do I think our shareholders want us to get into exploration.
The drill programme was completed in 2010 and we’ve really done no proper work since then on the project, our licenses expire in October of this year and it’s going to cost us multiple of hundreds of thousands of dollars just to renew the license, let alone do any work. So, it’s just not the right business for Goldplat right now, we took the decision therefore to write it down.
Q4: Finally, Gerard, now that you’re in a new financial year, what are the prospects for Goldplat going forward?
A4: We’ve come into the new year with very positive momentum on all fronts, all operations are profitable, at least on an operating level, with an all over positive outlook. All our businesses are growing, we are very focussed strategically on diversifying our sources of material, in terms of our client base as well as geographically. We’re looking at diversifying our business, in terms of recovery, the types of material which we focus on and in terms of the bigger picture – expanding into primary production. I expect to be able to chat with you in a year’s time and present a Goldplat which has grown in size and profitability and importantly, with a far more diversified business.