Iron ore chairman steps down

Gindalbie Metals' chairman George Jones has announced he will step down from his position.

Gindalbie Metals chairman George Jones will step down from his position effective August 31, the company said in a statement.

Jones will remain as a non-executive director with Gindalbie but plans to take a six-month leave of absence while he recuperates from a recent medical operation, the iron ore company said.

While he is sad to relinquish the role, Jones remains confident in Gindalbie’s future.

“Our strategy is firmly in place,” he said.

“We have a world class asset in the Karara project, we have a strong partnership with Ansteel, we have funding solutions in place and have recently secured key approvals which should see us commence construction later this year.”

Gindalbie this week completed a $162.06 million share placement with China’s Anshan Iron and Steel Group Corporation (Ansteel), its partner in the Karara iron ore joint venture being developed in Western Australia’s mid-west region.

The share placement, which saw Ansteel increase its stake in the iron ore miner to 36%, also left Gindalbie debt free and with a cash balance of $43 million.

With so much recent movement in the market, Jones said that projects such as the Karara joint venture make him confident about the future of smaller players in Australia’s iron ore industry.

“I am particularly optimistic about the future of the junior iron ore sector subsequent to the merger of the BHP and Rio Tinto iron ore interests,” he said.

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