African Consolidated Resources plc Announces Board Shuffle
African Consolidated Resources plc has announced important board changes as the company gears up to bring its flagship Pickstone-Peerless Gold Project in Zimbabwe into production.
The AIM-listed resources and development company has appointed a new chairman of the board, William Battershill, who is a highly experienced businessman with an extensive background in the Southern African industrial sector.
Battershill (53), who was born in Zimbabwe, has built an illustrious career in the African steel industry.
He founded a steel trading business in 1985, which eventually developed into JSE listed BSi Steel Limited (‘BSi Steel’), a leading steel distributer focused in sub-Saharan Africa.
Battershill has been Group Executive Chairman of BSi Steel since 2009. BSi Steel employs over 1,000 people in over 20 operations situated in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Zambia, Democratic Republic of Congo and Ghana, and also has an interest in a Swiss based trade finance business and commodities trading operation.
He also holds a number of partnerships and directorships as well as 15,700,395 ordinary shares of £0.01 each in the Company, representing 1.85 percent of the issued share capital of AFCR.
Eric Diack has been appointed Non-Executive Director and brings with him a vast understanding of the sub-Saharan African industrial and mining landscape with board level experience from major companies including AcelorMittal, Aveng, AMIC, Adcock Ingram, Bidvest and Anglo American Ferrous and Industries.
Diack, who achieved his Bachelor of Accounting in South Africa and served articles at Ernst & Young, moved into the diversified industrials and engineering sector in 1982 at Dorbyl Ltd.
He moved to Anglo American Industrial Corporation in 1996 serving as an Executive Director and was subsequently appointed at Finance Director of the corporation. He holds no shares in the Company.
Staying within the Anglo group companies for a number of years, Diack eventually held the position of Chief Executive Officer of Anglo Ferrous Metals Divisions.
Diack has also served as a director of both Adcock Ingram and ArcelorMittal and has been integral in the negotiation and successful conclusion of multiple transactions during his corporate and entrepreneurial career.
Roy Pitchford, current Acting Chief Executive Officer will become the company’s permanent CEO while Roy Tucker, AFCR’s current chairman will transition into the role of Finance Director. He remains as company secretary.
Outgoing Chairman, Tucker said: “As we refine our investment proposition, and steer the Company towards commercial gold production in the near term from our flagship Pickstone-Peerless Project in Zimbabwe, so too must our board develop and evolve to ensure the right balance of corporate and industry expertise to execute these plans in a capital efficient manner.
“With this in mind, I am delighted to announce the appointment of Will and Eric, both highly distinguished figures in the Southern African business sector, who will provide invaluable support to our operations and strategic direction over the coming months.
“These two new directors, together with our now permanent CEO Roy Pitchford, have the requisite skills to drive operational progress and corporate development.”
Vale invests $150mn to extend life of Manitoba operations
Vale has announced a $150mn CAD investment to extend current mining activities in Thompson, Manitoba by 10 years while aggressive exploration drilling of known orebodies holds the promise of mining well past 2040.
Global energy transition is boosting the market for nickel
The Thompson Mine Expansion is a two-phase project. The announcement represents Phase 1 and includes critical infrastructure such as new ventilation raises and fans, increased backfill capacity and additional power distribution. The changes are forecast to improve current production by 30%.
“This is the largest single investment we have made in our Thompson operations in the past two decades,” said Mark Travers, Executive Vice-President for Base Metals with Vale. “It is significant news for our employees, for the Thompson community and for the Province of Manitoba.
“The global movement to electric vehicles, renewable energies and carbon reduction has shone a welcome spotlight on nickel – positioning the metal we mine as a key contributor to a greener future and boosting world demand. We are proud that Thompson can be part of that future and part of the low carbon solution.”
Vale continues drilling program at Manitoba
Coupled with today’s announcement, Vale is continuing an extensive drilling program to further define known orebodies and search for new mineralization.
“This $150mn investment is just one part of our ambitious Thompson turnaround story. It is an indicator of our confidence in a long future for the Thompson operations,” added Dino Otranto, Chief Operating Officer for Vale’s North Atlantic Base Metals operations.
“Active collaboration between our design team, technical services, USW Local 6166, and our entire Thompson workforce has delivered a safe, efficient and fit-for-purpose plan that will enable us to extract the Thompson nickel resources for many years to come.”
The Thompson orebody was first discovered in 1956 by Vale (then known as Inco) following the adoption of new exploration technology and the largest exploration program to-date in the company’s history. Mining of the Thompson orebody began in 1961.
“We see the lighting of a path forward to a sustainable and prosperous future for Vale Base Metals in Manitoba,” said Gary Annett, General Manager of Vale’s Manitoba Operations.