Four years after two directors were forced out by Aphrodite Gold, a Western Australian court has found the junior explorer had every right to sack them.

The company announced the resignations of Wayne Ryder and Leon Reisgys in September 2013 and later the same month revealed it was facing a lawsuit by the disgruntled employees.

The judgement handed down in the Supreme Court of Western Australia determined that Aphrodite was “entitled to terminate Mr Ryder’s employment”, the company told investors.

Mr Ryder has been ordered to repay Aphrodite overtime benefits amounting to $9,900.

Meanwhile, the court found that Mr Reisgys was entitled to a termination payment of five months’ base salary but not to the additional overtime that he claimed.

Mr Reisgys was found to be liable for the $9,900 in overtime that was paid as a “result of his breach of duty in approving Mr Ryder’s request for overtime without any proper inquiry as to his entitlement”, Aphrodite said.

The parties will head back to court early in 2018 to settle the matter of legal costs.

Aphrodite this week finalised a merger with fellow Spitfire Materials.

The two ASX-listed junior gold explorers agreed in mid-August to join forces to create a leading Australia-focused gold company with around 1.3 million ounces in resources, a market cap of around $60 million and an advanced exploration and development portfolio across Australia.

Aphrodite has now been suspended from trading, after receiving court approval for the merger, and will be removed from the ASX in early January.