Carbine Resources has finally conceded defeat at its Mount Morgan project in Queensland after it was unable to improve the projected returns.

The troubled gold and copper explorer (ASX:CRB) told investors it has now halted spend and work on the project.

Managing director Tony James and non-executive chairman John Fitzgerald have quit. Graham Brock has also given up his seat on the board.

“The board’s resolution is a direct result of the company not being able to achieve any meaningful outcomes with the key stakeholders to improve the terms of the various agreements associated with the project to increase returns to an acceptable level,” Carbine said.

An economic review of the project released in February showed that all-in sustaining costs – that is, costs including all expenses – had increased to $862 per ounce from $549 per ounce, which was the estimate in the earlier feasibility study.

Carbine was trying to negotiate better offtake terms, improve operating conditions and secure project funding.

CRB shares over the past year.
CRB shares over the past year.

In the past year, Carbine’s share price has tumbled from a 52-week high of 13c to a low of 2.8c. Shares were last trading at 3.6c.

The company says it will not exercise the option to acquire the remaining 25 per cent interest in the Mount Morgan project from Raging Bull Mining Pty Ltd.

Current company secretary Ms Oonagh Malone has now joined the board and Evan Cranston has been appointed non-executive chairman.

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