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Eco Oro Minerals, dissidents reach compromise in board battle

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Eco Oro Minerals, dissidents reach compromise in board battle

Activist shareholders laid down arms after reaching a compromise with Eco Oro Minerals Corp. in a battle for control of the beleaguered junior explorer.

A group of shareholders led by Courtenay Wolfe had been pushing for change in leadership at Eco Oro, alleging the company is poorly managed as it seeks recompense from the Colombian government.

Eco Oro had sought to develop the Angostura gold deposit. But in 2014, the Colombian government created a new conservation area that captured some of the deposit, complicating Eco Oro's hopes to try to build a mine.

Following the creation of the conservation area, Eco Oro said it would seek compensation through international arbitration.

Amid the feud with the government, activist shareholders decried the company's handling of the situation and, in particular, the matter of who would get proceeds of a payout if Eco Oro wins in arbitration.

Some of the proceeds had been promised to Eco Oro leadership, among others.

Key parts to the compromise in the shareholder dispute are a reshaped board of directors and the potential for shareholders to buy rights to participate in a potential payout, should Eco Oro get one.

Eco Oro said Aug. 1 that it would make 19.45% of the contingent value rights, or CVRs, available for purchase for shareholders. The CVRs give a shareholder a right to some of the possible arbitration settlement.

A new board of directors includes dissidents Courtenay Wolfe and Peter McRae, along with Lawrence Haber, an independent director agreed to by incumbent Eco Oro leaders and the activist shareholders. The incumbents on the board are David Kay and Anna Stylianides.

The compromise also sets a deadline of Nov. 10 for a shareholder meeting to approve the new board and other resolutions. Wolfe and Kay are to co-chair the meeting, Eco Oro said.

Eco Oro also said Aug. 3 that it appointed Paul Robertson as interim CEO, replacing Stylianides who had been serving as interim CEO previously. Robertson has been serving as the company's CFO.