Battery metals miner IGO has found a new chief executive in Ivan Vella, a long-serving Rio Tinto executive whose career includes a stint as iron ore boss in the aftermath of Juukan Gorge.
The company told the market it had concluded that search this morning, announcing Mr Vella would be its next chief executive officer and managing director.
Mr Vella will relocate to Perth from Canada with his family to take up the new role, saying it had been a difficult decision to leave Rio but that he was excited about his next posting.
“The company’s purpose and values deeply resonate with me and IGO has positioned itself brilliantly to be at the forefront of the global transition to a green energy future.”
Mr Vella has held a raft of roles with Rio since joining in 2003 and currently serves as the miner's aluminium chief executive, a position he has held since March 2021.
Other notable mentions in his resume include a seven-month stint leading Rio’s iron ore business between September 2020 and March 2021 in the wake of the destruction of Juukan Gorge.
Prior to that he was managing director of Rio’s port, rail and core services and has served as chief operating officer for coal and at the Oyu Tolgoi copper mine.
He is expected to start his new role no later than December 11 2023, IGO has said.
“There are very few executives in the mining industry that have the breadth of knowledge, strategic capability, experience and passion that Ivan has developed over his career,” he said.
“It is notable that Rio Tinto turned to Ivan to rebuild their relationships with the PKKP in the wake of the Juukan Gorge tragedy.
“We are delighted to have been able to attract an executive of Ivan’s calibre to join IGO, and look forward to his vision and leadership in steering the company through its next exciting phase of growth.”
Based in South Perth, IGO owns and operates the Nova nickel, copper and cobalt operation in Fraser Range, the Cosmos nickel project in Leinster and the Forrestania operation east of Perth.
It recently moved on a joint venture arrangement with Andrew Forrest’s Wyloo Metals to build a major battery materials facility in Kwinana.
IGO is also in a joint venture with Tianqi Lithium that owns a 51 per cent stake in the Greenbushes hard rock mine alongside Albemarle Corporation.
IGO shares were off 0.27 per cent to trade at $14.54.