Mr. Stabro Kasaneva reports
AUSTRAL GOLD APPOINTS WAYNE HUBERT AS EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN AND STRENGTHENS EXPLORATION TEAM
Austral Gold Ltd. has appointed Wayne Hubert as the company's new executive chairman of the board and the appointment of Raul Guerra as the company's new corporate vice-president of exploration. Current chairman, Eduardo Elsztain, the company's largest shareholder, remains on the board as non-executive vice-chairman.
Mr. Hubert is a mining executive with over 20 years' experience working in the South American resources sector. From 2006 until 2010, he was the chief executive officer of Australian Securites Exchange-listed Andean Resources Ltd. and led the team that increased Andean's value from $70-million to $3.5-billion in four years. Andean discovered and was developing the world-class silver and gold mine, Cerro Negro, in Argentina with a resource of over 5 million ounces of gold when it was acquired by Goldcorp Inc. of Canada.
Mr. Guerra brings more than 30 years of precious metal exploration experience to the Austral Gold team. Most recently, he was vice-president of Latin America for Barrick Gold Corp. He has been involved in the discovery of more than 50 million ounces of gold including two large greenfield discoveries at Barrick.
Mr. Hubert said: "This is a great opportunity to build on the strong foundation Austral Gold has in place. We have solid cash generating assets, excellent exploration upside and a pipeline of organic growth and acquisition opportunities."
CEO of Austral Gold, Stabro Kasaneva, added: "In addition to his duties as chairman of the board, Wayne will support our investor relations efforts to increase the company's market awareness. Raul Guerra's experience is invaluable, and I look forward to his contribution to unlock and lead our exploration opportunities which is key to our growth strategy."
Mr. Elsztain commented: "With the current global uncertainty and improvements in the outlook for gold and silver, I am delighted that two outstanding professionals like Wayne and Raul accepted executive roles in the company. We're at the stage where we need to strengthen our corporate strategy and increase the company's visibility and positioning in the market."
In addition, as part of its overall effort to provide additional incentives for its employees, directors, officers and other eligible persons, the board has approved major terms of an equity incentive plan for the company. Once completed, the equity incentive plan will be subject to final approval by the board as well as by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), the TSX Venture Exchange, and the company's shareholders. Subject to approvals, the company plans to grant an aggregate of approximately 17 million unlisted and unvested options and compensation shares, representing approximately 3 per cent of the outstanding shares of the company after issuance. The material terms of the unlisted and unvested options are expected to include term of three to five years, vest in three equal tranches and exercise price of 20 cents (Australian) per share, subject to pricing requirements imposed by the ASX and TSX-V regulations. The compensation shares will be subject to resale restrictions. The terms are subject to change, and any shareholder approval documentation that will be dispatched in due course.
Incidental to their appointment, and subject in any event to regulatory and shareholder approvals referred to above, the company has agreed to grant Mr. Hubert two million unlisted and unvested options and Mr. Guerra one million compensation shares.
About Austral Gold Ltd.
Austral Gold is a growing gold and silver mining, development and exploration company building a portfolio of quality assets in Chile, the United States and Argentina. The company's flagship Guanaco/Amancaya project in Chile is a gold and silver producing mine with further exploration upside.
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