Monday 12 October 2020 12:03 pm

Petropavlovsk deputy chief out as Hambro era comes to an end

Petropavlovsk’s deputy chief executive has today left the firm as the Russia-focused gold miner shakes off the last traces of the Peter Hambro era.

Alya Samokhvalova, who had been with the company for nearly two decades, was a key member of the mining group’s old guard.

Read more: Gold miner Petropavlovsk slashes production forecasts

She took on the role of temporary chief exec during the summer’s boardroom battle, which culminated in Samokhvalova, as well as former chief Pavel Mavlovskiy and founder Hambro being voted out of the company.

Her departure means that the FTSE 250 firm is now firmly in the hands of interim chief Maksim Meshcheriakov, who was appointed in the aftermath of August’s meeting.

Meshcheriakov, a mining industry veteran of 17 years, is part of a new-look top team along with James W Cameron – Petropavlovsk’s new chairman – and senior independent director Charlotte Philipps.

However, a video that emerged on Russian social media earlier this month suggests that loyalty to the old regime remained strong.

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In the clip, which was reported by the FT, Meshcheriakov is shown forcing his way into Petropavlovsk’s Moscow office after a stand-off with staff.

The summer’s battle saw rival investor groups  Prosperity accused fellow shareholders UGC and Everest Alliance of conspiring to take over the business.

But August’s meeting saw the latter two, who between them control over 30 per cent of voting rights, victorious.

The twists and turns did little to affect Petropavlovsk’s share price, which is currently trading around 200 per cent higher for the year to date as investors rushed to gold amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

Read more: PwC resigns as auditor of gold miner Petropavlovsk on governance concerns

However, shares dipped a further 2.5 per cent today on the announcement, which followed on from the firm slashing its production forecasts at the end of last week.

In a trading update, the Russia-focused gold miner said that production volumes would now come in between 560,000 to 600,000 ounces, down from previous estimates of up to 720,000 ounces.