Alacer Gold replaces CEO

Gold producer ceases local exploration while plans to sell Aust operations progress.

Alacer Gold Corp (AQG) has promoted chief financial officer Rodney Antal to chief executive officer, in a series of changes at the top of the company effective today.

In a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange, Alacer said Mr Antal will replace David Quinlivan, who will step down as president and CEO and retire from the board.

The group's president of Turkish operations Howard Stevenson has been appointed president and chief operating officer, with primary responsibility for the company's mine sites.

Senior vice president of finance Mark Murchison has been appointed interim chief financial officer.

Non-executive director Stephanie Unwin has resigned from the board.

Australian asset sales process continues

Alacer said it is in well advanced discussions with a number of interested parties about selling its Australian assets on terms that deliver an improvement in risk-adjusted value.

Meanwhile, the group is focusing on near-term cash maximisation for the assets, and will place the operations into care and maintenance in the next 12-18 months unless the gold price improves.

The strategy includes reducing planned mine operating development and stopping mine capital development at Higginsville, ceasing exploration activities in Australia, and accelerating initiatives to reduce discretionary spending in Australia.

Mr Antal said the group's strategy was due to "recent volatility in the gold price and the time taken to secure an acceptable binding offer for the Australian operations" (see Tim Treadgold's article on gold, Losing its lustre?).

The company reaffirmed production and cost guidance for 2013 of 168,000-187,000 ounces of gold at total cash costs of $US1,140-1,250 per ounce ($A1,237-$1357).

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