Wilmot does Revenue deal

Tom Wilmot, the force behind Harvard Securities - the share dealer that crashed in the late Eighties, leaving thousands of investors stranded with illiquid and untradeable shares - is on the brink of securing a personal pounds 500,000 tax settlement with the Inland Revenue.

A deal would cancel pounds 5m in disputed back taxes Mr Wilmot says the Revenue is claiming from him: "It is a bit early to comment on the details, and nothing has been signed yet." But a deal should be imminent, he said.

The settlement would give him the right to reside in Britain, after eight years spent mostly abroad, and could pave the way to a resumption of his career as a deal maker in the UK.

Since Harvard went out of business in 1988, much of Wilmot's time has been concentrated on a Canadian gold prospect, the Ladner Creek Gold Mining Corporation. The mine was built in 1981 by a previous operator at a cost of C$40m (pounds 18m) but closed in 1984 after metallurgical problems made it uneconomic.

Mr Wilmot, who was responsible for sponsoring several companies on to the now-defunct Third Market while he was at Harvard, hopes to obtain a listing for Ladner, although it may not be in the UK.

The Ladner prospect is managed by Athabaska Gold Resources Corporation of Canada, a company quoted on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Athabaska calculates it can produce 51,400 ounces of gold annually starting in 1997. That would yield a profit of C$8.5m a year at a gold price of $380 an ounce. Mr Wilmot says reserves are 190,000 ounces, over a 16,000-acre territory.

Athabaska has the right to purchase the Ladner Creek project from Mr Wilmot and his partners for 4 million of its shares.