20/04/2018 - 14:13

Auris board spill

20/04/2018 - 14:13

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Auris Minerals chairman Bronwyn Barnes and independent director Susan Vearncombe have been voted off the company’s board, after a group of dissident shareholders gained enough support to pass a number of resolutions at a special meeting today.

Bronwyn Barnes has been ousted from the board. Photo: Attila Csaszar

Auris Minerals chairman Bronwyn Barnes and independent director Susan Vearncombe have been voted off the company’s board, after a group of dissident shareholders gained enough support to pass a number of resolutions at a special meeting today.

The group, which includes Metals X and Westgold Resources chairman Peter Newton and is known as the ‘Mandevilla’ group, was also successful in appointing Westar Capital director Neville Bassett and geologist Brian Thomas to replace the two outgoing board members.

A resolution to remove a third director, Rob Martin, made by the Michael Fotios-chaired investment company Investmet in response to the Mandevilla resolutions, was not successful.

The two removal resolutions and the appointment of Mr Bassett received nearly 60 per cent support, while the election of Mr Thomas gained about 52 per cent approval.

Ms Barnes thanked Ms Vearncombe for her service to the company.

"I personally would like to recognise the significant effort that Dr Vearncombe has contributed to the company since her appointment in August 2017,” she said

“During that time she has worked with our CEO and technical team to support an extensive review of previous exploration activities and results and assist in planning for future activities.

“It is this work that is now being delivered by the company."

In her address to the meeting, Ms Barnes questioned the two proposed appointments.

“I am unable to comment on the skills and experience Messrs Bassett and Thomas bring to the board as we have not been informed of their backgrounds in delivering value to shareholders or driving company performance,” she said

"I will watch with interest their performance in driving value for shareholders and their efforts to ensure an independent director is appointed to the board.”

The Mandevilla group has about an 11 per cent stake in the company.

Auris had applied to the Takeovers Panel last month, claiming that the group was not providing full disclosure of voting power, however the application was thrown out by the panel.

In March, Ms Barnes disclosed that some members of the Mandevilla group had been negotiating a farm-in proposal last year without the knowledge of the company’s board.

As the nominee director for Investmet, Ms Barnes will officially step down once a replacement has been found.

Shares in Auris finished up 3.2 per cent at 6.4 cents each.

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