Gindalbie Metals chairman George Jones will step down from the role in April - coinciding with the company officially launching its Karara iron ore project in the Mid West.
He will be succeeded by Keith Jones, who is due to become national chairaman of accounting firm Deloitte in June after holding the managing partner role in Perth for more than a decade.
As chairman, George Jones has overseen the development of the Karara project, which is jointly owned by Gindalbie and Chinese steel producer Ansteel.
"After resuming the Charimanship of Gindalbie in 2010…I believed very strongly that it was important to see the project through to the final stages of development and into production,” he said.
The Karara project produced first magnetite in November, and is aiming towards an 8 million tonne per annum run rate by the end of April.
“I am confident that we are on track to complete the ramp-up to 8Mtpa by the end of April, as scheduled, with the official opening ceremony scheduled for 9 April representing an appropriate time for me to acknowledge the people who have worked so hard to make this project a reality, and to move on.
“I am extremely confident about the long-term future of Gindalbie and Karara, and I am pleased to be leaving the company in a position of great strength with a world-class asset now in production and a powerful partner in Ansteel.”
Mr Jones said he intended to spend more time with family but would continue to be involved in charities and business.
“After stepping down, I intend to remain closely involved with the mining industry through my ongoing role as Chairman of PCF Capital, which will enable me to continue to contribute my knowledge and experience to the industry, but with reduced workload,” Mr Jones said.
Mr Jones is also chairman of Africa focused Sundance Resources, which has been in long-running takeover negotiations with China's Hanlong Mining.
George Jones initially stepped down from the chairman role at Gindalbie in 2009 due to health issues, but resumed the chair in 2010 after its then chairman Geoff Wedlock died in a plane crash in West Africa.
Mr Jones also resumed the chairmanship of Sundance Resources at the same time, following the death of Mr Wedlock and the other Sundance directors.
He said said his successor at Gindalbie was one of WA’s most respected business leaders with an extraordinary depth of experience and contacts across the Australian resources sector.
In the course of his career, Keith Jones has worked for a range of resource industry clients including Rio Tinto, BHP, Hancock & Wright, Fortescue Metals Group, Portman Mining, Sundance Resources, Minara Resources, Woodside Petroleum and Resolute Mining.
Since 2010, Mr Jones has led the National Energy and Resource Group for Deloitte, assuming responsibility for the firm’s Mining, Oil & Gas, Power and Water industry groups.
In the past three years, Mr Jones has led Deloitte Australia’s engagement with both the firm’s Chinese practice and the Chinese community in Australia, as well as State Owned Enterprises and the investing community in China.
He is a regular visitor to China and has overseen a five-fold expansion of business between Deloitte Australia and China over this period.