When Tom Ogryzlo replaced John Greenslade as head of Baja Mining (TSXV: BAJ) in May 2012, the company and its then 70% owned copper-cobalt-zinc Boleo project in Mexico were in freefall – reeling from hundreds of millions of dollars in cost overruns that even by the mining industry’s standards were hard to swallow.
The troubled project on the east coast of Mexico’s Baja peninsula, which according to an updated capital cost estimate in the fall of 2010 was supposed to ring in at about US$1.25 billion, was instead confronting an additional US$533 million in capex. And the target date of June 2013 for first metal production looked hopelessly optimistic.
Ogryzlo – a mechanical engineer with over 50 years of experience in the extractive industries and a history of developing multi-million dollar mining projects – hoped that he could help set things right within a year and reach production no later than the first quarter of 2014.
“I thought the assignment would last six to 12 months but we were overtaken by events,” Ogryzlo recalls of those highly fraught first months as interim CEO.
The events included class action lawsuits, a re-evaluation of the mine plan, equipment and labour delays, and the need to negotiate a funding solution with the company’s Korean partners that slashed Baja Mining’s stake in the project first to 49% and then down to 10%.
Read the complete article at NorthernMiner.com/news/baja-mining