More turmoil for gold miner Petropavlovsk as it ousts board member

Gold bars are displayed at Shinhan Bank
London-listed Russian miner serves notice on recently appointed board member (Source: Getty)

London-listed Russian gold miner Petropavlovsk is ousting one of its board members as a part of an ongoing struggle over the future leadership of the company.

The company announced today that it is serving notice on board member Bektas Mukazhanov.

Mukazhanov, who was only appointed in February, is an investment adviser at Cyprus-based Fincraft Holdings.

Read more: Former ambassador to Russia pushes for change at gold miner Petropavlovsk

He was appointed as a representative of Kenges Rakishev, the Kazakh entrepreneur who is the company's largest shareholder and the beneficial owner of Fincraft.

Rakishev has said that he will support a motion to oust the company’s present board and re-instate its former leaders, who were themselves ejected by shareholders last year. He opposed the appointment of its new chief executive Roman Deniskin who took the role in February.

In a statement today Petropavlosk confirmed the plan to part ways with Mukazhanov.

“Due to his position of employment with Fincraft Holdings, the company’s major shareholder, which has confirmed that it will vote in favour of the majority of the requisitioning shareholders resolutions, including the removal of all other directors of the company, the board considers that Mukazhanov is conflicted and that this is an untenable situation for both the company and Mukazhanov,” the statement said.

Read more: Petropavlovsk warns it could have to stump up $234m as debt talks stall

Rakishev said: "Since I acquired a stake in Petropavlovsk I have said repeatedly that I am concerned the company lacks vision. It is also well-known that prior to the appointment of Roman Deniskin I lobbied for the return of Pavel Maslovskiy. It became clear that the current board was not open for discussions, and therefore I came to the conclusion that I would back the requisitions.

“Rather than seeking to damage Petropavlovsk further, I encourage the board to recognise they have lost the support of the majority of shareholders and step down."

Two as yet unidentified investors, going under the names of Cabs Platform and Slevin, put forward the proposals to reinstate former directors Pavel Maslovskiy, Roderic Lyne and Robert Jenkins and clear out its current board of directors.

The company has its annual general meeting on 29 June.

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