Neometals appoints ex Rio and BHP talent to board

Neometals is strengthening its board ahead of its proposed demerger of the Barrambie titanium-vanadium project and associated non-lithium technology assets into a new ASX-listed entity with the appointment of two new non-executive directors.

Recently appointed Dr Jennifer Purdie has held roles in engineering, senior technology, strategy and operations for leading international mining companies and is currently the chief executive officer of Adani Australia Renewables.

Prior to this, Dr Purdie served as Executive Vice President at Aurizon and Global Practice Leader for Rio Tinto’s Technology and Innovation team.

Leslie Guthrie has over 40 years of experience and has served in senior corporate management, project management and capital program development roles in the UK, Australia, North America and Asia. 

He was most recently Vice President Projects (Potash in Canada) for BHP Billiton and was also the Managing Director of Kvaerner Australia.

The proposed new entity to be created from the de-merger will be responsible for overseeing the initial development of the massive Barrambie project and will look to create a direct shipping operation of vanadium-rich titanomagnetite concentrates.

It will then evaluate the possibility of on-site production of high-purity titanium and vanadium chemicals utilising the proprietary Neomet process.

According to Neometals, the demerger is expected to be completed in the March quarter of 2019, subject to all required approvals and consents.

This will allow Neometals to push ahead with the feasibility study for its proposed Kalgoorlie lithium hydroxide refinery and carry out exploration at its highly prospective Mt Edwards lithium project near Kambalda in WA.

Neometals is in an envious position given its lucrative stream of dividends that are now flowing in from the Mt Marian Lithium mine near Coolgardie.

Chairman Steven Cole said: “We are delighted to welcome both Jenny and Les … Their respective skills and exceptional experience across numerous industries align well with our growth strategy, and our current stage of development across both the integrated lithium and titanium/vanadium business arms.”

“With the Neometals NewCo demerger timeline advancing well, we are pleased to have a full complement of skills to draw from to finalise the Board composition for both companies.”

Neometals plans to outline further details on the dermerger at its annual general meeting on the 30th of November.

It is currently progressing the necessary third‐party consents and regulatory approvals ahead of seeking admission of the new company to the official list of the ASX.

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