New Millennium Iron Corp. is involved in one of the messiest proxy fights the junior mining sector has seen in a while. A dissident group wants the company to “dramatically” cut expenses to preserve capital, including compensation. It is looking to seize control over the board.
If the two sides fail to reach a settlement, chief executive Robert Patzelt said he is confident the incumbent board will prevail at the company’s annual meeting next week.
“I’m confident the right result will ultimately prevail,” he said in an interview.
He also said he continues to have a good working relationship with Indian steel giant Tata Steel Ltd., which owns 26.2 per cent of New Millennium stock.
New Millennium is one several junior miners with projects in the Labrador Trough that are suffering because of plummeting iron ore prices. While Patzelt agrees with the dissidents that the company needs to be prudent with its capital in this bear market, he thinks it is a mistake to halt spending to the degree his opponents want.
“You lose connections with your stakeholders. All that momentum is lost,” he said.
He still hopes the two sides can settle their differences before the annual meeting.