The largest secured creditor and biggest shareholder in troubled Scottish gold miner Scotgold Resources has quit the company’s board.
Nat le Roux said there was an “unavoidable conflict” between the interests of the company and his personal interest as the major secured creditor.
Mr le Roux was previously the group’s chairman.
He is also a former chief executive of financial spread better IG Group. In 2009 he co-founded independent educational foundation The Constitution Society and remains a senior advisor..
Scotgold said in March 2019 it had recently renegotiated and extended a secured loan deal with its then chairman. The loan facility was increased by up to £1 million to £6m.
Scotgold battling to stay afloat
Mr le Roux’s decision to step down from the board is the latest in a series of blows to the financially stricken company.
It is in a race against time to secure lifeline funding and avoid administration.
Yesterday, Scotgold, which is mining for gold and silver at Cononish, near Tyndrum, Argyll, told the stock market advanced financing discussions with a strategic investor “have not resulted in an investment at this time”.
It added: “The directors, having assessed the options open to them, are now considering the appointment of administrators over the coming days.”
Announcing Mr le Roux’s decision to quit the boardroom team, Scotgold said: “Nathaniel (Nat) le Roux has notified the board of his resignation as a director of Scotgold Resources Limited and its subsidiary companies with immediate effect.
“Nat le Roux is the major secured creditor of SGZ Cononish Limited, a subsidiary to Scotgold Resources Limited.
“The board is now evaluating the group’s position to consider all options available to the company and its subsidiary companies. Further announcements will be made in due course.”
A statement from Mr le Roux said: “After almost 10 years on the board, I have made this decision with considerable regret.
“As Scotgold’s operating subsidiary heads towards administration, there is an unavoidable conflict between the interests of the company and my personal interest as the major secured creditor.
“I believe it is in the interests of shareholders generally that I now stand down. I remain the company’s largest shareholder, and the board has my full support at this very difficult time.”
Running out of lifelines
The company announced last month it was close to collapse as it was running out of lifelines to stay afloat.
It also revealed it had put staff on unpaid leave “until further notice”.
Funding talks were ongoing but its “most advanced prospective investor” had walked away, Scotgold said in its statement to the London Stock Exchange on October 2.
Two weeks later the company revealed it was in “advanced discussions” with a new strategic investor. These talks – now seemingly at an impasse – were said at the time to have the potential to deliver enough cash for the firm to continue as a going concern.
Trading of Scotgold’s shares on London’s Alternative Investment Market was suspended in September when it said it needed “significant” funding to continue as a going concern.