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Shakeup at Metallum Resources as CEO departs

Vancouver junior miner wants to put former Schreiber-area zinc mine back into production
Kerem Usenmez inspecting core samples
Kerem Usenmez inspects core samples at the company's Superior Lake Zinc Project in 2021 (Company photo)

The head of a junior mining outfit, with ambitious plans to put a former zinc mine near Schreiber back into production, has abruptly left the company.

Vancouver’s Metallum Resources announced Oct. 3 that Kerem Usenmez has resigned as president, CEO and his seat on the board of directors.

In an Oct. 3 news release, the company said board chair Tony Wonnacott will step into the CEO’s role on an interim basis. Wonnacott was appointed chair back in July.

Usenmez’s departure follows on the heels of the announced resignations of CFO Kevin Bates and Sally Whittall, the corporate secretary, at the beginning of September. They were replaced in their roles by Sean McGrath and Jan Urata, respectively.

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In a LinkedIn post, Usenmez chalked up his departure to a difference of opinion.

“I would like to let everyone know that I have left Metallum Resources as of today. We had some differences in strategies and came to a mutual conclusion that we part ways for the sake of the company and its shareholders. I wish the board future success.

“I learned a lot along the way, and made new friends, including local stakeholders. I still believe in finding and developing resources, especially the critical minerals rather rapidly.”

Metallum’s flagship Superior Lake Zinc Project is in an advanced stage of exploration. A feasibility study published last year projected an 8.5-year mine life on the site of the former Winston Lake zinc mine. According to project timelines on the company's website, Metallum wants to restart production by late 2024.

The company followed up yesterday’s bad news with some hopeful news today. The provincial mines ministry has converted their exploration claims to mining leases at its Pick Lake Claim, which is the part of the property containing the zinc and copper deposit, something the company calls a “major development milestone.”

The project site is 20 kilometres northwest of the town of Schreiber and 200 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay. The project timelines call for mine construction to commence either later this year or early next year. Underground mining would start in the fourth quarter of 2024.

The company has more than 17,000 hectares of other, more grass roots, exploration properties scattered between Schreiber and Marathon.

Metallum’s shares trade on the TSXV and the OTCQB in the U.S. The company has let it be known this month it wouldn’t mind attracting some Australian investor interest with a proposed listing on the Australian Securities Exchange. Metallum acquired the Superior Lake Zinc Project from Australia’s Superior Lake Resources.