Endeavour Mining boss Sébastien de Montessus has been fired following an alleged “irregular payment instruction” of almost $6m (£4.7m).
His termination takes place with immediate effect, following an investigation by Endeavour Mining into a payment of $5.9m in relation to an asset disposal. The company has not specified to which asset sale the irregularity relates.
In response to the allegations and his ousting, de Montessus sent an emailed statement to several news outlets, in which he claimed that in 2021 he had instructed a creditor of Endeavour to offset an amount they owed to the company in order to pay for essential security equipment to “protect our partners and employees in a conflict zone”. De Montessus denies that the arrangement was for his financial gain, stating: “The decision had no additional cost to the company and did not benefit me personally in any way. I omitted to inform the board that I had arranged for this offset, which I have freely accepted was a lapse in judgement.”
De Montessus also faces separate allegations relating to his personal conduct with colleagues after a complaint was submitted to Endeavour by an anonymous whistleblower. He also denies these allegations.
According to a statement published on Thursday 4 January, the current deputy chair of Endeavour Mining’s board, Ian Cockerill, has been appointed as interim CEO and executive director with immediate effect.
Of the new interim CEO, Endeavour says: “Ian has over four decades of experience in the global natural resources industry. During his career he has held senior roles covering operational, project and executive positions around the world, having held executive roles at major international mining companies, including chief executive officer of Gold Fields and Anglo Coal, a subsidiary of Anglo American, as well as non-executive positions.”
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