MINING concern Caledonia Mining Corporation non-executive chairperson and director Leigh Wilson has retired from the board, with his successor expected to be named today.
In his resignation statement last Friday, Wilson said it was a privilege to have served Caledonia and its shareholders as director and non-executive chairpeson over the past decade.
The miner operates in Zimbabwe through its gold mine, Blanket Mine, located near Gwanda town, in Matabeleland South province.
“It has been a privilege to serve Caledonia and its shareholders as a director and non-executive chairman over the last 10 years. During this period, the business has been transformed from a junior gold miner with one producing asset to a company that has now laid the foundation to realise its vision of becoming a multi-asset, mid-tier, Zimbabwe-focused gold producer,” Wilson said in a statement.
“The directors, executive management of both Caledonia and Blanket Mine, and staff have worked hard to build and expand the business. It has been an honour to help guide them on this journey. As a shareholder, I will remain closely interested in Caledonia’s future and I have no doubt that the excellent team at Caledonia, Blanket and now Bilboes will continue to deliver on this strategy.”
Commenting on Wilson’s retirement, Caledonia chief executive officer Mark Learmonth said under his stewardship, Caledonia increased production from approximately 45 000 ounces in 2013 to just over 80 000 ounces in 2022.
“A key component of this growth was the completion of the Central Shaft project which has established a solid foundation for its growth,” he said.
“Over the last 18 months, Caledonia has acquired an attractive portfolio of high-quality exploration and development assets in Zimbabwe. We now have a clear pathway to build on the success at Blanket Mine with the objective of creating a multi-asset, mid-tier, Zimbabwe-focused gold producer over the course of the next five to seven years.”
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He said the board was grateful to Wilson for his skills and experience which proved invaluable over the years.
“Caledonia has also improved its relevance to international capital markets, with Caledonia shares now traded on the NYSE American, AIM in London and the Victoria Falls Stock Exchange in Zimbabwe,” Learmonth said.
“Caledonia’s share price has been one of the top performers in its peer group. Since January 2013, Caledonia’s market capitalisation has increased from US$56 million to US$278 million; over the same period, we have paid almost US$30 million in dividends to Caledonia shareholders and total shareholder return over the period has been 670%. An outstanding performance by any criteria.”
Wilson served as a senior executive at several large international business and financial services organisations.
This includes holding top positions with Groupe Paribas in Paris, and at the Union Bank of Switzerland (Securities) in London where he was deputy managing director, among others.