Follow the leaders: This week’s executive appointments


Keep up with the latest executive movements across the mining sector, including at FLSmidth, the FBICRC and SRK Consulting.

FLSmidth has announced the departure of chief executive officer Thomas Schulz, making way for current president of FLSmidth’s mining business Mikko Keto.

Keto will retain the presidency of the mining business while taking on the role of CEO, much to the approval of FLSmidth chairman Vagn Sørensen.

“Since joining FLSmidth, Mikko has been setting a clear direction for our mining business and is overseeing the thyssenkrupp acquisition’s integration planning,” Sørensen said.

“There is significant growth potential ahead in the mining industry, and Mikko’s experience including his leadership skills, comprehensive industry insight and proven track record in driving business initiatives that deliver profitability will be a competitive advantage for FLSmidth.”

Schulz had been instrumental in the company’s transformation since 2013, spearheading its industry leading sustainability initiative MissionZero – which aims to deliver zero-emission technology for cement and mining by 2030.

This was underpinned by the announcement of the acquisition of thyssenkrupp’s mining business in July for around $522 million.

“Our strategy to deliver fully digitalised sustainability offerings and to expand our service and aftermarket business has put us in the solid position to pursue opportunities for profitability and growth in both mining and cement,” Schulz said.

“Today, we are poised to complete the acquisition of thyssenkrupp’s mining business, one of the largest acquisitions in the history of the company.”


The Future Battery Industries Cooperative Research Centre (FBICRC) has appointed Shannon O’Rourke as the new chief executive officer, bringing 25 years’ experience in the energy and mining sectors.

O’Rourke previously worked with Rio Tinto, Woodside and Chevron in senior management and industrial research positions.

FBICRC chair Tim Shanahan said O’Rourke represented an important step for the growing organisation.

“Shannon is well placed to lead FBICRC through its next phase of activities, delivering on the outcomes expected from its research and development collaborations and shaping a growth agenda,” Shanahan said.

“His career spans traditional and renewable energy markets with a track record of success in the commercialisation of research outcomes including managing CRC collaborations through the Future Fuels CRC and the CO2 CRC.


SRK Consulting has formed a dedicated mine closure business unit, to be headed by environmental engineer Katina Strelein.

Strelein was welcomed to the company in October and will now look forward to improving the consultancy’s approach to mine closure.

SRK Australia head of mine waste Pepe Moreno said the experience offered by Strelein would ensure SRK become the perfect partner to understand responsible mine closure practices.

“SRK Australia has been working in diverse aspects of mine closure already, but mainly specialised areas such as estimation of closure costs, evaluation of long-term stability (physical and chemical), and engineering design of closure for various facilities,” Moreno said.

“With Katina joining our group, we are introducing cohesiveness to our service offering since she brings hands-on experience in mine closure planning, her thorough understanding of local and international regulatory compliance, as well as industry standards on mine closure.”

The mine closure team will be expanding to at least 10 experts with global and local knowledge.

Strelein said such a breadth of experience was important when dealing with sensitive environmental issues.

“Mine closure is a specialised field and a relatively new discipline in mining,” she said.

“People have only in the past 10 years had mine closure roles within a mining company and it’s not covered by a particular degree.

“It’s been reliant upon people building up that knowledge on the back of the mining industry starting to embrace the idea of mine closure that more people have started to gain this specialised experience.”

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