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Harte Gold restocks the front office

White River miner picks new president, COO to tap Sugar Zone's potential
Sugar Zone
Harte Gold's Sugar Zone Mine.

Harte Gold has found a successor to Stephen Roman.

The White River-area miner has named Sam Coetzer as its new president and picked Martin Raffield to be the new executive vice-president and COO.

The Toronto-headquartered mining company made the announcement on Nov. 4.

Coetzer brings more than 30 years of international mining experience, especially with underground operations.

Most recently he served as president and CEO of Golden Star Resources where he transitioned the company from an open-pit operator to an underground producer while attracting a large amount of institutional capital. Coetzer also had stints for Kinross Gold in South America, Xstrata Nickel, Xstrata Coal and Placer Dome in South Africa. He holds a mining engineering degree from the University of Pretoria in South Africa.

Joining him is Martin Raffield as Harte's new COO and executive vice-president.

He brings more than 25 years of experience managing underground operations in Canada and Africa, most notably with Golden Star, SRK Consulting and Placer Dome. Raffield holds a Ph.D. in geotechnical engineering from the University of Wales.

The new additions are part of a management overhaul that started last summer by Appian Natural Resources Fund, which has been bankrolling Harte Gold in northwestern Ontario since December 2016.

Stephen Roman, who resigned in August after steering the development of the Sugar Zone Mine, the first gold mine in the Hemlo camp in three decades, welcomed Coetzer and Raffield aboard.

"Both Sam and Martin have visited the Sugar Zone mine site and are confident they will deliver operational success. As former CEO of Golden Star, Mr. Coetzer successfully transitioned the company from open pit operations to an underground-only producer, increased its profile in the capital markets and dramatically grew market capitalization which in turn provided shareholders a significant return. Mr. Coetzer brings a proven strategic mindset that will benefit all shareholders of Harte Gold.”

Coetzer said he's ready to take the Sugar Zone to the next level.

"I see tremendous potential in the Sugar Zone property and believe the operational challenges experienced to-date can be resolved. Upon Martin and I taking office, our near-term focus is to drive stronger operational performance, optimize underground operations, ensure the paste plant is operational by year end and execute a 2020 mine plan and strategy that is achievable.

"We look forward to delivering these results for all shareholders in the coming months.”

Harte Gold's main asset is the Sugar Zone Mine, 25 kilometres north of White River, which went into commercial production in the fall of 2018.