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There’s nothing like an attempted board spill to bring you down from cloud nine, but that is exactly what Havilah Resources is facing close on the heels of a major iron ore find in South Australia.

Havilah (ASX:HAV) revealed late Tuesday afternoon that it had been served with a “249D” notice by a group of shareholders with a collective stake of more than 5 per cent.

The group — led by private company Statsmin Nominees — wants Havilah to call a meeting to vote on the removal of chairman Ken Williams and director Mark Stewart.

The rebel shareholders have put forward Peter Johnson and Richard Buckley as replacements.

The notice was received on the same day Havilah announced it had made a major new iron ore discovery in the Grants iron ore basin — the same place BHP had once mined.

In a letter to fellow shareholders, the group highlighted the fact that Havilah had difficulty raising the full $2m it was hoping to under a funding deal struck back in October 2017.

Havilah also faced delays in a payment for the sale of its Portia gold and North Portia copper, cobalt and gold projects to Consolidated Mining & Civil.

Because of this Havilah was forced to borrow $6m from Investec Group.

“I can understand where they’re coming from and why they feel unhappy because we’ve not been able to raise funds because of the difficult market and so we’ve gone to Investec as a back up,” technical director Chris Giles told Stockhead.

The shareholder group also voiced concerns over the lack of new resources since 2012 and Havilah’s stagnant share price.

Havilah Resources (ASX:HAV) shares are the same price they were a year ago.
Havilah Resources (ASX:HAV) shares are the same price they were a year ago.

The group claims that in the past year it has tried to convince the board to make changes but has been unsuccessfully.

“We’ve had dialogue with them,” Mr Giles explained. “It’s not acrimonious at all. It’s just that these people are disappointed and frustrated and think maybe a change of management will make a difference.”

Havilah’s chairman, Mr Williams, has previously publicly stated his intention to step down at next week’s AGM.

The company is already well advanced in finding his replacement.

“Ken Williams, our chairman, said he has been in the job for quite some years now and it’s time for a new guy,” Mr Giles said.

“We’ve had a process that Ken’s been running of locating another suitable replacement director — someone with a high profile, someone with metallurgical skills that can help us deliver a project.

“So we’ve actually gone through a very formal detailed process of locating or identifying a suitable replacement for Ken and we’re well advanced with that.”

Havilah is currently determining the validity of 249D request.