Murchison Metals co-founder quits

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Murchison Metals co-founder Paul Kopejtka has quit the board of the company after being axed from his role as executive chairman several months ago.

Murchison released a short statement announcing Kopejtka’s resignation, but gave no reason for his decision.

“The board thanks Mr Kopejtka for his extensive contribution as a director since the company’s listing in 2005 and wishes him well for the future,” it said.

The West Australian reports Kopejtka was the architect of Murchison’s failed strategy to become an integrated iron ore mine and infrastructure group.

Kopejtka’s departure follows a board reshuffle in July, where he was demoted to non-executive director and managing director Trevor Matthews took the reigns as chief operating officer.

It is unknown what Kopejtka intends to do with his five per cent stake in Murchison, which is currently valued at around $5.9 million.

At the height of the company’s value in July 2007 his stake was worth around $134 million.

The new leadership of Murchison is trying to attract interest in the company’s stake in the Jack Hills mine, the troubled Oakajee port and rail consortium, or the company as a whole.

The Oakajee project has ran into major problems after Murchison admitted it was unable to fund its share in the project.

China’s state-owned Sinosteel has also halted work on its $2 billion Weld Range iron ore project, laid off staff, and announced it is waiting for a “viable” port and rail plan.

Other delays and significant cost blowouts have also plagued the Oakajee project.

Image: ABC

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