Ausdrill African COO Tuckwell Resigns to Return to MACA Ltd
After two short years at MACA competitor Ausdrill, mining executive Chris Tuckwell is returning to MACA as its managing director. Tuckwell’s past two years were spent in Africa, as Ausdrill’s chief operating officer in the region— a position that was handcrafted upon his recruitment.
This highly sought after executive has spent 13 years working with the Canning Vale-based company between 1994 and 2007. MACA’s managing director position was recently vacated by the resignation of Doug Grewar, another seasoned mining executive, who had spent 19 months in the position. Tuckwell’s predecessor joined MACA in October of 2012, after leaving his previously held senior Queensland-based executive roles with Abigroup, Macmahaon Contractors and Downer Mining.
Andrew Edwards previously commented on Grewar’s appointment saying, “I am delighted that Mr. Grewar has accepted the opportunity to take on this key leadership role with MACA. MACA has successfully transitioned from private to public ownership over the past two years; the appointment of such a high quality external candidate will lessen the reliance on the founders of the business and strengthen the executive team as the company continues its journey of sustainable growth.”
Ausdrill has released a comment that its organization is considering various options regarding the appointment of a successor to Tuckwell’s position, but that there is no confirmed selection yet.
Non-executive chairman Andrew Edwards applauded Grewar’s service for the MACA, and commented on the return of Tuckwell, "Chris is of course very familiar with MACA's clients and operations," he said, "His recent experience in Africa has added to his already considerable experience."
In addition to changes in the mining industry’s senior executives, Brisbane-based contractor Sedgman has announced the promotion of Peter Watson to managing director. Watson has been responsible for Australia West, Africa and Americas region, and is set to succeed Nick Jukes in June of this year.
Watson’s attractive salary package includes a base pay of $600,000 per annum, plus superannuation, a short-term bonus and access to participate in long-term incentive plan.
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.