OceanaGold announces leadership change
OceanaGold has announced that its President and CEO Mick Wilkes is stepping down from his position and the board for personal reasons.
The Company’s current Chief Operating Officer, Mr Michael Holmes, will take over as Acting President and Chief Executive Officer effective immediately.
Wilkes joined OceanaGold in 2010 and led the transformation of the Company from a single asset operator in New Zealand to a successful mid-tier gold mining company operating four mines across three jurisdictions. Mick was instrumental in the development of the Didipio Gold-Copper Mine and the subsequent commencement of commercial production in 2013.
In 2015, Mick led the acquisition of both the Waihi Gold Mine and Romarco Minerals, Inc. which saw the addition of the Martha and Haile Gold Mines to the OceanaGold portfolio of assets. The Haile Gold Mine went into commercial production in 2017 and since acquisition there has been enormous exploration success at Waihi. Both of these assets are now firmly part of the long-term future of the Company.
Ian Reid, Chair of the Company, commented: “On behalf of the Board and everyone at OceanaGold, I would like to offer my heartfelt thanks to Mick for his significant contribution and dedication to the Company over the last 10 years. We respect Mick’s desire to spend more time with his family and wish him well for his future endeavours.”
Wilkes said: “It has been an honour and a privilege to lead OceanaGold for close to 10 years. Over that time, the company has grown from a junior mining company to a high-margin, multinational business that is highly regarded for its operating capability in the gold sector, and has a strong future through its world class assets. I am very proud to have worked with so many talented and committed mining people who have positively impacted the lives of so many others in the communities in which we operate.”
Mining Global spoke with Mick Wilkes back in January. “I’ve learned a few tricks along the way,” he told us. ““I think it's important to make sure people know where OceanaGold is going as a company with a clear vision. Mining is a transition industry for development and kickstarts the transformation of the economy and society in ways that all areas can benefit from. We’re sticking to that vision and doing the job properly for the long run.”
Holmes has also been appointed to the Board of Directors, effective immediately. Reid commented: “Michael is a very experienced mining executive who has been with the company for over 7 years. He has a deep understanding of OceanaGold’s business and is highly respected within the organisation and well regarded throughout the industry. The Board firmly believes that the company is in good hands and thanks Michael in accepting the acting role. The Directors look forward to working with him in implementing the company’s strategic priorities.”
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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.