Atlas Iron appoints new MD

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: When the music stopped in the Boardroom of Western Australian iron ore producer Atlas Iron, a few people found they were sitting in a different seat.

The company has appointed company figurehead David Flanagan to the position of executive chairman and has anointed Ken Brinsden to take up the managing director position to be vacated by Flanagan.


Source: Company web site

Atlas said the Boardroom changes are part of its preparations for exponential growth.

The company has forecast its iron ore production to increase from its current rate of six million tonnes per annum to 46 million tonnes per annum by 2017.

The restructure will initially result in Flanagan retaining a day-to-day role overseeing the company’s operations, assisting Brinsden with a particular emphasis on strategic planning and corporate issues.

Flanagan will remain as executive chairman until 31 August 2012 as part of the hand-over of managing director’s duties to Brinsden, after which he will become non-executive chairman.

There can be little wonder speculation abounds that such a move may be the catalyst for Flanagan to seek new adventures involving new projects.

“There is no new project, no new directorships or other,” Flanagan told The Roadhouse.

“This move was my idea and has the full support of the board.”

According to the company’s announcement to the ASX regarding the restructure, the changes reflect the evolving and maturing nature of Atlas’ business as it continues to grow from its share market float in 2004 to what is becoming a world class operation.

Brinsden is currently chief development officer at Atlas and has been part of the company’s operations and growth strategies since its inception.

He has overseen development of Atlas’ current operating mines at Wodgina and Pardoo and played a major role in the company’s strategy to secure port capacity at Port Hedland.

“Ken is an operations guy, knows all the projects led all our new mining ops and has been with Atlas since 2006,” Flanagan said.

“He is a great leader in the business and is highly respected and popular with staff and shareholders.”

Atlas has also appointed Kerry Sanderson as an independent non-executive director.

“Kerry is very smart, very experienced in infrastructure and a great person,” Flanagan continued.

“She has a terrific reputation from when she ran Fremantle port and as agent general for Western Australia in London.

“Our business is becoming more sophisticated and we need the right skills to manage it to deliver 46 million tonnes per annum by end of 2017.

“That’s our next big target.”

Disclaimer: The Roadhouse holds shares in Atlas Iron.