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McEwen Mining appoints new president-COO

Chris Stewart will take over the role as of Sept. 1
Chris Stewart will take over the position of president and COO at McEwen Mining, effective Sept. 1, 2018. (Supplied photo)

McEwen Mining has appointed Chris Stewart as president and chief operating officer (COO), effective Sept. 1, 2018. He leaves his former position as president and CEO of Treasury Metals to take on the new role.

Stewart, a registered professional engineer in Ontario with a bachelor’s degree in of science, mining and engineering from Queen's University, will replace Xavier Ochoa, who resigned from the position on July 13.

“McEwen Mining is in a growth phase that relies heavily on engineering and execution of projects. In addition to growing organically, we seek opportunities to expand our production and resource base,” said chair and chief owner Rob McEwen, in an Aug. 1 news release.

“Chris is an ideal executive to lead our organic growth initiatives, as well as evaluate and execute on acquisitions.”

Stewart has 25 years of experience in the mining industry, including 14 years with Dynatec/DMC Mining, a Canadian mining contracting company, and a role with BHP Billiton.

He’s additionally held senior executive positions with Kirkland Lake Gold (vice-president of operations), and Lake Shore Gold (vice-president of operations).

“I am excited to be joining McEwen Mining,” Stewart said in the release. “It has acquired several high-quality assets in world class mining camps with tremendous exploration potential. Our focus will be on organic growth and ensuring that we maximize value from the current operations. 

“We will also be looking for external growth opportunities that can be accretive to the business and contribute to our goal of qualifying for the S&P 500 Index.”

McEwen Mining owns the Black Fox Mine in Timmins, in addition to the San José mine in Santa Cruz, Argentina (49 per cent interest); the El Gallo Fenix project in Mexico; the Gold Bar mine in Nevada, currently under construction; and the large Los Azules copper project in Argentina, advancing towards development.

In response to Stewart’s departure, Treasury Metals’ board chair, Mark Henderson, said the company would continue working toward production at its Goliath gold project, located 20 kilometres east of Dryden in northwestern Ontario.

Project director Mark Wheeler and Bob MacDonald, Treasury’s vice-president of operations, will take on increased responsibilities in guiding the company through the federal mine permitting process, engineering and the completion of its ongoing expansion drilling program, he noted.

Greg Ferron, who currently serves as vice-president of corporate development, will take on the role of CEO on an interim basis.

"On behalf of the entire team, we would like to extend our gratitude to Chris and wish him well in his future endeavours,” Henderson said in a separate release. “The board has full confidence in Greg, Bob, and Mark to continue to build on the successes of the company and to execute the Goliath development plans on schedule.

“Greg has led our corporate development team for six years, and will provide leadership continuity to our staff, partners and key stakeholders,” he added.

“We are also thankful for the value that Bob brings as a 30-year engineer who led operations for Canadian success stories including Goldcorp's Musselwhite and Cameco's Saskatchewan operations."