Follow the leaders: This week’s executive movements

Keep up with the latest executive movements across the mining sector, including at CIMIC Group, Fenix Resources, AusTin Mining and Peak Resources.

CIMIC Group chief executive and managing director Juan Santamaria has been promoted to executive chairman, filling the vacancy left by current executive chairman, Marcelino Fernández Verdes, who decided to retire.

Santamaria brings to the role his broad executive experience, including a stint as managing director of CIMIC construction business CPB Contractors.

Prior to that, Santamaria served as managing director of UGL, executive general manager  for public and private partnerships and construction at CPB Contractors, chief executive of Iridium and chief executive and chief operating officer of ACS Infrastructure in North America and Canada.

Fernández Verdes said “the time is right” for him to retire, with ongoing limitations to international travel following eight years in the role.

CIMIC also says farewell to two of its alternate directors Adolfo Valderas and Ángel Muriel, who have retired from their positions.


Fenix Resources has welcomed Warwick Davies as a new non-executive director, effective November 9.

Davies, an industrial chemist, has worked in the iron ore and minerals industries for over 50 years, beginning with BHP Steel at its Newcastle and Whyalla steel works.

He then moved to the Pilbara with Hamersley Iron in 1969 where he started a four-decade involvement in technical, operational and commercial roles within the iron ore sector.

Davies developed Robe River’s organisation until 2001 until Rio Tinto’s takeover, when he moved on to becoming a consultant for Mt Gibson Iron and Atlas Iron during their start-ups.

He was welcomed to Fenix by managing director Rob Brierley, who said his vast experience in iron ore would add significant value as the company transitions to a producer at its Iron Ridge project in Western Australia in coming months.


AusTin Mining chief financial officer Priy Jayasuriya has resigned from his post, by mutual agreement with the company, effective immediately.

The company has replaced Jayasuriya with Karl Schlobohm as its interim chief financial officer while it commences a review of its management structure.

Schlobohm’s appointment will provide AusTin with continuity until the review has been completed.

He is a qualified chartered accountant and has been AusTin’s secretary since 2009 and has previously acted in the role of chief financial officer.


Tanzanian member of parliament the honourary Abdullah Mwinyi has joined the board of Perth-headquartered Peak Resources as a non-executive director.

Mwinyi entered Tanzanian Parliament in 2007 and was a member of the East African Legislative Assembly for ten years between 2007 and 2017 where he was chair of legal, privileges and rules committee and the regional affairs and conflict resolution committee.

He is also the chair of Swala Oil and Gas and is a lawyer by trade, with background in corporate, commercial, labour and employment law.

Mwinyi will head Peak’s team in Tanzania, where the company is progressing its Ngualla neodymium and praseodymium rare earths project, which has the potential to be a flagship project for the Tanzanian Government.

“I am delighted to be joining the board of Peak Resources at this important moment for the company,” Mwinyi said.

“The Ngualla project has the ability to deliver important social, economic and community benefits to the people of Tanzania.”

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