Mark Beyer (right) interviewed Raleigh Finlayson as part of Business News's Success and Leadership SNAPSHOT series. Photo: Gabriel Oliveira

Success and Leadership SNAPSHOT with Raleigh Finlayson

Saracen Mineral Holdings was one of the first mining companies to respond to COVID-19, and managing director Raleigh Finlayson says the changes have profoundly changed his working life and the company’s operations.

It was one month ago that Mr Finlayson joined mining industry leaders at the Chamber of Minerals and Energy of WA to discuss the looming COVID-19 crisis.

“The very next day, Saracen may have been the first mover in the state, we rolled-out a three weeks on, three weeks off roster,” Mr Finlayson told Business News.

Saracen’s senior executive team has also changed its work arrangements, spending one week on site followed by two weeks' self-isolating at home.

“What’s changed, all of a sudden, your calendar gets freed up,” Mr Finlayson said. “We’re using the opportunity to get to our sites a lot more.

“It’s a really good way to engage with our people and understand some of their challenges.”

Mr Finlayson said his time on site had given him good insights into the issues facing workers dealing with the longer rosters, as well as social distancing requirements.

“The impact is compounded by those social distancing requirements. I think that was the biggest learning for me from going on site,” he said.

Mr Finlayson said Saracen had adopted a number of initiatives to make current work arrangements sustainable for the company's workforce.

Strategic initiatives, such as building up ore stockpiles and putting more development into the company’s mines, had helped the company weather the current challenges.

“We’ve been very well positioned in the gold sector globally after enacting those plans a couple of years ago,” Mr Finlayson said.

He also discussed the company’s purchase late last year of a 50 per cent stake in Kalgoorlie’s Super Pit, followed shortly after by Northern Star Resources buying the other 50 per cent.

“It could not have gone any better in the quarter we’ve been working together; there is a really good alignment at different levels, very good open and honest communications between us and that stems from a relationship that goes back 20 years ago," Mr Finlayson said.

“We’re pretty excited about the long-term future coupled with a pretty handy $A gold price as well.”

Commenting on the future of the industry, Mr Finlayson said he would love to see more workers living in the Goldfields.

While the Super Pit has a residential workforce at Kalgoorlie, he acknowledged the lack of schools and other services near remote mine sites made it difficult to attract families.

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BN30 Index

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Top 10 Shareholders

Substantial shareholders as published in the annual report.
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Total Shareholder Return as at 30/04/20

1 year TSR5 year TSR
51stSilver Lake Resources148%62%
70thPerseus Mining114%21%
93rdRamelius Resources81%59%
121stSaracen Mineral Holdings59%58%
156thWestgold Resources39%
674 WA (and selected non WA) listed companies ranked by 1 year TSR relative to other companies with similar revenue
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11th↑Saracen Mineral Holdings$555.7m
13th↑Perseus Mining$527.7m
14th↓Westgold Resources$448.0m
16th↑Ramelius Resources$354.9m
17th↑Silver Lake Resources$301.7m
477 listed resources companies ranked by revenue.
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