Junior mine developer Rubicon snatches Goldcorp veteran for top spot
Michael Lalonde is jumping ship from Goldcorp to Rubicon Minerals as the latter moves its Phoenix gold project in the Red Lake district through to production.
Posted: Monday , 30 Apr 2012
HALIFAX, NS (MINEWEB) -
As it grows from junior explorer to junior gold miner Rubicon Minerals (TSX: RBY) pulled a deeply experienced mine operator away from Goldcorp's upper echelons to take its top position.
Rubicon said Monday that Goldcorp's director of underground mining, Michael Lalonde, was coming on board to take over as president and CEO.
He replaces David Adamson who has moved Rubicon from discovery through development, most recently raising some C$200 million to build Rubicon's flagship Phoenix gold project in Ontario's Red Lake gold district.
It is a transition that can be awkward for a junior-miner-to-be, sometimes for lack of experienced managers on the market or alternatively for recalcitrant incumbents loathe to let upper positions go. Not so for Rubicon.
In Lalonde Rubicon gets an old hand at running underground mines such that Phoenix will be and one of the top managers operating in the Red Lake district. Among Lalonde's credits are running Goldcorp's Red Lake mine, known for its stellar grades over 20 g/t gold, and overseeing development of its Cochenor gold project, also in the Red Lake district.
Outgoing President and CEO David Adamson will hold onto the CEO title for six months while Lalonde learns the ropes at Rubicon and will then take over the chairman position on Rubicon's board.
In an exit interview Adamson told Mineweb that leading Rubicon has been a matter knowing your strengths and surrounding yourself with people that complimented your weaknesses.
Lalonde has "all the pedigree that is necessary to lead the company," Adamson said. Lalonde, he said, knows the Red Lake district backwards and that it was time for an "operative man" to take command.
TD Securities analyst Daniel Earle commended Adamson for making the move.
"Tremendous credit must be given to David Adamson in our view," Earle said in a note to clients. "We initiated coverage of Rubicon Minerals in mid-2008 after the discovery of the F2 gold system (at Phoenix) was made in March of that year following a decade or so of exploration under his leadership in the Red Lake camp. In our experience, David has always acted in the best interests of all shareholders and we believe this is another clear example of that."
Earle said Lalonde was joining Rubicon at a "crucial time" and brought "significant technical and development experience and leadership."
For Lalonde, coming with his Red Lake background, the Phoenix gold project will be familiar territory. It is planned as a high-grade, 1,250-tonne-per-day underground mine with life of mine production to be around two million ounces over a dozen years.
With financing in place, and construction well underway, production days are not far off for Rubicon. And as Adamson put it, Lalonde is the "last piece of the puzzle."
Metatags: Rubicon Minerals, gold, mine-building, junior, Red Lake, Au, exploration, David Adamson, Michael Lalonde, Goldcorp