Guildford MD steps down

GUILDFORD Coal managing director Michael Avery has resigned due to ill health.
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Guildford's Mongolian projects

Justin Niessner

Company founder Craig Ransley will fill in as executive deputy chairman until the appointment of Avery’s replacement.

Guildford said it was in “advanced discussions” with a number of highly regarded candidates for the positions, but no names or timeframes have been announced.

The news comes with the Australian-listed company on the cusp of first production at its South Gobi open pit in southern Mongolia.

South Gobi is located 50km east of Nariin Sukhait, a massive deposit where two other producers currently export coking and thermal coal.

Guildford said the project should be online in the next couple of months and has the potential to produce about 2 million tonnes of coal per annum.

The company signalled its regret at the resignation of its MD on the eve of South Gobi’s debut, and wished Avery a speedy recovery.

Patersons Securities coal analyst Andrew Harrington said the departure of Avery at this juncture was disappointing but saw no reason to discount Guildford.

The stockbroker retained its Buy recommendation for the miner with a price target of $A1.80/share.