Follow the leaders: This week’s executive movements


Keep up with the latest executive movements across the mining sector, including at MACA, Port Augusta Operations, Greenvale Mining and more.

MACA corporate development manager Nicholas Ward will step up into the position of joint company secretary in addition to his existing management role in corporate development.

He will share the responsibility with present secretary and chief financial officer Peter Gilford.

Prior to this, Ward spent 10 years at Ernst & Young with stints as an associate director, senior manager, mining, oil and gas, utilities and infrastructure manager, senior analyst and accountant.


Following Port Augusta Operationsannouncement of its plan to construct a port in the Upper Spencer Gulf to service South Australian mining exports, the company has started a leadership reshuffle.

Current Millennium Services Group chairman and non-executive director Roger Smeed will be the new chairman of Port Augusta Operations.

He brings 35 years of director experience to the role, including being the chairman of Halu Group and chief executive of the Victorian Casino and Gaming Authority.

Recently resigned Australian Rail Track Corporation chief executive John Fullerton will be a director of Port Augusta Operations, offering extensive rail experience.

He is a past chief executive of FreightLink, which is the owner and operator of the Adelaide to Darwin railway the Ghan.

Port Augusta Operations will also welcome a new secretary, commercial lawyer Brendan Connell.


Greenvale Mining will begin a new era of leadership with experienced mining executive Neil Biddle taking over as managing director, effective immediately.

Biddle joined the Greenvale board last September as part of its strategy to revitalise the company, including fast-tracking development of the Alpha torbanite project in Queensland.

Biddle will drive the project’s commercialisation, including overseeing a pre-feasibility study, drilling and sampling test work.

He is an experienced geologist with more than 35 years of senior management experience across the Australian exploration and mining industries.

He is presently a non-executive director of Bardoc Gold, a company he founded, and has also served as managing director of TNG, Border Gold and Consolidated Victorian Mines.

Biddle was also instrumental in Pilbara Minerals’ acquisition of the Pilgangoora lithium-tantalum project in Western Australia as a company non executive director.

The Alpha project is Australia’s only remaining deposit of torbanite, a mineral that is used to produce bitumen, light crude and activated carbon.


Twenty Seven Co will have a new chief executive, Simon Phillips, to oversee the company’s Western Australian gold exploration strategy starting February.

Phillips has been on board at Twenty Seven Co since 2020, providing consultancy advice from his 25 years spent in the financial services sector.

This includes as an investment advisor and fund manager specialising in Western Australian focussed gold explorers and producers.

In his new role as chief executive, Phillips’ priority will be to accelerate development of Twenty Seven Co’s Mt Dimer, Yarbu and Rover gold projects.

“After many years working in the West Australian investment industry, gaining considerable hands-on experience funding gold explorers and producers, I see Twenty Seven Co as an outstanding and challenging opportunity,” Phillips said of his new role.

“The three Western Australian gold assets are high quality. I’m very much looking forward to working with Twenty Seven Co’s geology team to further develop our assets.”

Phillips replaces outgoing chief executive Ian Warland, who has stepped down to take a new opportunity closer to Adelaide.


Ben Donovan has replaced Tara Robson as secretary of Sipa Resources.

A member of the Governance Institute of Australia, Donovan is secretary of several companies in the resources, agritech, biotech, media and technology industries.

He spent three years as an adviser at ASX’s Perth office, managing the listing process of 100 companies to the ASX.

At Sipa, he will be responsible for communications between the gold and base metals explorer and the ASX.

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