Empire produces gold at its Penny Find project.

Ruane calls for Empire board spill

Tuesday, 4 September, 2018 - 13:34

Perth mining executive Michael Ruane is seeking a board spill at Empire Resources, less than two months after the gold miner was forced to restructure its board due to a push from a separate group of dissident shareholders.

Mr Ruane, who holds an 8.81 per cent stake in the company, has advised Empire that he will move a series of resolutions at a meeting, including the removal of managing director David Sargeant.

He is also seeking to remove director Lee Christensen and non-executive directors Christopher Banasik and Brett Fraser.

Mr Ruane told Business News he will lodge a notice under section 249D of the Corporations Act and intends to nominate himself as a replacement director.

“I’m a big shareholder and I’d like some representation on the board and I believe I can bring something to the company,” Mr Ruane said

“The company is struggling a bit and I think I could be of assistance."

Mr Ruane indicated he was keeping his options open regarding the future board composition.

“Basically I’m the biggest shareholder so I would like some representation on the board," he said.

“If the board sees fit to do that then the 249 etc may be withdrawn, I don’t know.”

Empire said it could not confirm when a meeting would be held and is taking legal advice to ascertain the validity of the notice.

In 2016, Mr Ruane orchestrated a board spill at gold explorer Echo Resources and was a director during that year.

He is currently an executive director of potash explorer Reward Minerals, and has previously served as managing director of gold-focused Metaliko Resources and Intermin Resources.

Today's news comes after Mr Banasik and Mr Fraser were appointed to the Empire board in July, after a group of shareholders requisitioned a general meeting to replace Mr Christensen, Mr Sargeant and Adrian Jessup.

Mr Jessup resigned following discussions between the dissident shareholders and Empire, paving the way for the appointment of Mr Banasik and Mr Fraser.

Empire said the rebel shareholders were associated with Empire’s former joint venture partner Brimstone.

Shares in Empire were flat at 1.2 cents each at 2.45pm AEDT.