Dobson’s fortune shrinks by millions

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THE sharp fall in the price of gold has made a multi-million pound dent in the fortunes of a man known as Mr Midas for his investment track record.

Borders-based mining tycoon Harry Dobson has seen several million pounds knocked off the value of his stake in Kirkland Lake Gold in the past week alone.

Dobson is chairman of and owns 5.4 per cent of Kirkland, a stake which on Friday was valued at around £7 million.

Shares in the company, which is listed on the Alternative Investment Market (Aim) and in Canada, have fallen 27 per cent in the past week and have lost almost half their value in the past six months.

The value of Dobson’s stake in the company has fallen by around £24m in the past year.

As well as the heavy sell-offs seen in the gold market, ­Kirkland was hit by bad weather earlier in the year, which delayed deliveries to a gold refinery.

After leaving school, Dobson, a farmer’s son from ­Lauder, went on a posting to the Solomon Islands with Voluntary Service Overseas where he first became interested in mining. He began his mining career in Australia before ­moving to Canada where he worked for a broking company raising money for mining projects. Through investing in a series of his own mining ventures he built up a fortune estimated at more than £200m and went on to invest in property and race horses. In 2005 he made a £30m profit on a 6.5 per cent stake bought two-and-a-half years earlier in Manchester United, which he sold to the Glazer family.