Elvis has left the building

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: The activity in junior mining company Boardrooms around the country continues.

Director appointment
Blackthorn Resources (ASX: BTR) has announced Roger Higgins has agreed to join the company’s as a non-executive director, to be effective from 1 January 2014.

Higgins has over 40 years’ experience in senior management positions in the international mining industry, covering business and mine management, strategy and business development, project management, engineering and technical services, as well as the management of logistics, governance and government/community relations.

His most recent position was senior vice president, copper with Teck Resources where he led the formation and operation of Teck’s copper business following the restructure of Teck into commodity-based units.

As Blackthorn has previously announced, the company’s chairman Bill Cash has indicated he will be retiring as a director of the company and that Mike Oppenheimer will become chairman of the Board once a new CEO appointment has been made.

Appointment of global executive to senior management role

Aurizon (ASX: AZJ) announced the appointment of Mauro Neves to the role of executive vice president, commercial & marketing in the company’s senior leadership team.

Neves has worked in senior roles in the resource sector and supply chain logistics at leading international companies.

His most recent role was global coal director for Vale, one of the world’s largest resource companies.

Neves will commence at Aurizon by the end of calendar year 2013.

“We’re delighted to secure the services of Mauro, an outstanding global executive with a strong track record,” Aurizon managing director & CEO Lance Hockridge said.

“Mauro has managed senior leadership roles at Vale during the past decade, most recently leading its global coal operations.

“He is based in Brisbane and has a deep understanding of the market in which we work and the opportunities available to Aurizon.

“This appointment strengthens our senior leadership team at the company which comprises an outstanding blend of commercial and operational talent from Australia and overseas.”

Board Change

Reed Resources (ASX: RDR) has announced the pending retirement of its non-executive director Dr Vanessa Guthrie.

Dr Guthrie has given notice of her retirement, which will become effective from the close of the company’s AGM on 20 November 2013.

She has cited the increasing commitments of her workload as managing director of Toro Energy (ASX: TOE) as the reason for her retirement.

“Vanessa has made a significant contribution to the Reed board over recent years and we will be very sorry to see her go,” Reed Resources chairman David Reed said.

“However, as a junior mining house ourselves, we understand only too well the pressures of office that are carried by CEO’s in this sector.

“We wish Vanessa and Toro well.”

Resignation of director / appointment of director

Xstate Resources (ASX: XST) had advised the market of the resignation of Andrew Childs as a non‐executive director of the company.

Chris Hodge has been appointed a non‐executive director.

Hodge has held managerial positions in major petroleum exploration and production companies and played a significant part in the growth of these companies via a mix of successful exploration and acquisition.

Hodge was managing director of ASX‐listed Adelphi Energy until 2010 and is currently the Exploration & Production Advisor to Mitsubishi in Australia as well as a non‐executive director on the Board of Roc Oil Company.

Changes to Board of Directors

Havilah Resources (ASX: HAV) has restructured its Board and management as moves closer to becoming a minerals producer.

The company recently appointed Paul Mertin, a former senior banking executive, as an independent non-executive director to strengthen the Board’s financial apabilities.

Mertin has since been appointed Chair of the company’s Audit Committee.

Havilah’s executive chairman Dr Bob Johnson informed the company he would not seek re-election at its AGM and has retired as a director.

The Board subsequently elected Ken Williams as independent non-executive cairman of Havilah.

Dr Chris Giles will step into the role of managing director until the company can appoint a suitably qualified and experienced senior executive, who will be responsible for management of the development and operation of Havilah’s three advanced mineral projects, namely Portia gold, Kalkaroo copper-gold and Maldorky iron ore.

Giles will resume his role as technical director, exploration and corporate development, once this appointment is made.