Follow the leaders: This week’s executive appointments

executive movements

Keep up with the latest executive movements across the mining sector, including at Rio Tinto, Piedmont Lithium, Westgold Resources and more.

Rio Tinto has appointed former Western Australian Treasurer and Aboriginal Affairs Minister Ben Wyatt as a non-executive director.

Rio Tinto chairman Simon Thompson said Wyatt will help strengthen the company’s relationship with stakeholders both in Australia and globally.

“I am delighted to welcome Ben to the Rio Tinto board,” Thompson said.

“With family links to the Pilbara and an impressive track record in public life, Ben’s knowledge of public policy, finance, international trade and Indigenous affairs will significantly add to the depth of knowledge on the board at a time when we are seeking to strengthen relationships with key stakeholders in Australia and around the world.”

Wyatt will join the board on September 1, 2021, and said he is committed to bringing change to Rio Tinto following the company’s destruction of Juukan Gorge last year.

“I have deep respect for the resources sector in Australia and have long been impressed with the professionalism and commitment demonstrated by Rio Tinto,” Wyatt said.

“I was deeply saddened and disappointed by the events at Juukan Gorge but I am convinced that Rio Tinto is committed to changing its approach to cultural heritage issues and restoring its reputation, particularly in Australia and Western Australia.”


Piedmont Lithium has elected Claude Demby and Susan Jones as non-executive directors to the company’s board.

Demby is president of Cree LED and brings a long history of governance, executive and operational experience.

Jones has spent 15 years at multibillion-dollar mining and agricultural enterprise Nutrien, and served as executive vice president and chief executive – potash, prior to her retirement in 2019.

Piedmont also announced the retirement of directors Anastasios Armia and Levi Mochkin.

“As we welcome Susan and Claude, it is difficult to express how much we will miss and appreciate the vision and contributions that Taso and Levi brought to our organisation to help us get to this point as a company,” Piedmont chief executive officer Keith Phillips said.


Westgold Resources has hired Gary Davison as an independent non-executive director.

Davison has served as a mining engineer and brings more than 43 years of mining experience to Westgold.

Executive chairman Peter Cook said Davison will be a valuable addition to the company.

“Gary will be a superb addition to Westgold’s Board and brings a wealth of underground operating and technical expertise to our business,” Cook said.

“He is an innovator; a strategic thinker and his project evaluation skills will be invaluable as the company embarks on its next phase of growth.”

Davison’s formal transition to the role will occur before November 2021.


Critical Resources has introduced Alexander Biggs as the company’s new chief executive officer.

Biggs is a mining engineer with experience in operations, consulting and finance.

“We are delighted to have Alexander join the company as chief executive officer,”
Critical Resources chairman Robert Martin said.

The appointment of Alexander ensures that the company can continue to move forward without impediment, and systematically review each of its projects.

“Over the past few months, the company has been on a rapid change of trajectory,” Martin said.

“The board and executive of critical resources are committed to advancing the company’s world class assets in New South Wales and Oman, and with Alexanders’ wealth of experience and can do attitude, we look forward to the future.”


Indiana Resources has appointed Trevor Harris as chief financial officer and joint company secretary at the company.

Harris has had extensive experience with mining and general industry companies.

The appointment finalises Indiana’s transition of all financial management in house.

“We welcome Trevor to the company, and with his solid financial management and regulatory reporting background, he will be a welcome addition to the Indiana team,” Indiana executive chairman Bronwyn Barnes said.

“With our activity levels increasing exponentially, it makes sense to increase our executive team to provide the support we will require as we increase activities across our extensive 5,090 square kilometre tenement portfolio in the Central Gawler Craton.”

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