Tietto Minerals’ second-largest shareholder — Zhaojin Mining — says the gold miner has “consistently overpromised and underdelivered”, after Tietto emphatically rejected its takeover offer then promptly missed production guidance. Early last month, West Perth-based Tietto knocked back a $650 million takeover bid from China’s Zhaojin, labelling the off-market cash bid at 58¢ a share as “opportunistically timed”. Tietto said the offer from Zhaojin — which controls a 7 per cent stake in the Matthew Wilcox-led miner — would be prior to the company’s share price “reflecting the continuously improving performance” of its flagship Abujar gold project in the West African nation of Côte d’Ivoire. “October 2023 was a record month for gold production at Abujar and was significantly ahead of gold production during September, despite the continuation of the wet season, which has until now prevented the company from milling higher-grade ore and stockpiling the lower grade ore,” Tietto stated at the time. On November 27, Tietto issued a target’s statement detailing the company remained on track to deliver production and cost guidance for the second half of 2023. However, on Thursday Tietto downgraded gold production at Abujar from between 75,000 and 85,000 ounces to 65,000 and 75,000oz, with no update given on cost guidance, 10 days after reassuring shareholders it would meet guidance. “Tietto has once again shown its misalignment of forecasts versus actuals and its continued inability to provide shareholders with believable guidance on future production and therefore future value,” a Zhaojin spokesman said. “Tietto has consistently overpromised and underdelivered, failing to meet forecast production since production at Abujar commenced, even after lowering key DFS parameters. “We believe this demonstrates Tietto’s inability to accurately forecast for Abujar, or successfully determine the economics on a potential second project.” The offer tabled by Zhaojin was at a 42 per cent premium to Tietto’s five-day volume-weighted average price. Tietto’s share price has sunk from 76¢ at the start of the year to 43¢ prior to the takeover offer being launched. Abujar has been plagued by ramp up issues following first gold pour in January. Zhaojin is the biggest producer in China’s Shandong province, with 2022 output of 618,453 ounces, and has been scouting Australian companies for years after hooking up with Liam Twigger’s PCF Capital in 2019 to look for opportunities. Tietto’s largest shareholder is a Zhaojin gold mining rival — Chifeng Jilong Gold — with the Shanghai-listed major controlling a 13 per cent stake. The West Australian understands Chifeng is unlikely to lob a competing offer, as the Chinese government takes a dim view on its own investors getting into bidding wars with each other for foreign assets. Shares in Tietto slumped 2.4 per cent to trade at 60¢ each by 11.30am.