The state government has selected former Rio Tinto boss and current Mitsui & Co director Sam Walsh as the new chair of Perth Mint operator Gold Corporation.
Mr Walsh’s appointment has not been formally announced but was confirmed after enquiries by Business News and reports in other media outlets.
He will replace Don Mackay-Coghill, who had been Gold Corp chairman since July 2015.
Mr Mackay-Coghill’s term expired on 30 June 2018 but he has not been replaced until now.
As the refiner of nearly all gold mined in WA, and a considerable amount of gold mined elsewhere, Gold Corp had annual revenue last financial year of $18.8 billion.
Its annual profit was a modest $10.1 million, down from $24.4 million previously.
Mr Walsh’s new appointment will add to several business, arts and philanthropic roles.
He has been a director of Tokyo-based Mitsui since March 2017 – the trading house has vast interests in WA, in iron ore, oil and gas, grain trading, woodchips and salt, and generates about $4 billion per year in sales revenue from its WA assets.
Mr Walsh is also chair of the Australia Council for the Arts – he commenced that role in July, triggering his resignation as chair of the Art Gallery of WA.
In addition he chairs the Royal Flying Doctor Service in WA and is a trustee of Perth Diocesan Trustees.
Premier Mark McGowan thanked Mr Mackay-Coghill for his 26 years of service to the Western Australian gold industry.
He was chief executive of Gold Corp from 1986 to 2003, and sat on the board as a director from 2003 to 2009 before returning as chairman in 2015.
“He has led GoldCorp through many changes in the industry and can be very proud of his record,” the premier stated.
The premier described Mr Walsh as a distinguished Western Australian businessman with global networks and resource industry expertise.
“Gold Corp plays an important role in the WA gold industry. In the increasingly complex worlds of refining, metals trading, financial services, and digital technologies, I believe Mr Walsh has the right skills to lead Gold Corp into the future.”