New Hope hires former Yancoal leader as CEO

New Hope Group has appointed a new chief executive, Reinhold Schmidt, who will transfer from the same position at Yancoal Australia in September.

Schmidt will bring with him more than 20 years’ experience in the mining industry.

He was chief executive of Yancoal since August 2013 until March this year. He previously served as Xstrata Coal general manager of the Wandoan project in Queensland before taking the role of chief operating officer a year later.

The Wandoan project is a joint venture among Glencore Coal Queensland (75 per cent), ICRA Wandoan and Sumisho Coal Australia (12.5 per cent each).

Schmidt was formerly the president of Glencore International’s Colombian coal assets.

He is replacing incumbent chief executive and managing director Shane Stephan who will retire in August.

“We look forward to (Schmidt) joining the company. He is an experienced mining executive whose strategic focus and deep understanding of the Australian coal industry will benefit benefit the company,” New Hope chairman Robert Millner said.

“Schmidt joins a talented management team who will continue to drive performance for the company’s 80 per cent interest in and management of the Bengalla mine, while navigating through a challenging period of lower coal prices an ongoing process to obtain approvals for New Acland stage three.”

This follows New Hope’s announcement yesterday that it was putting 14 per cent of its workforce redundant due to indecision surrounding state government approval for the New Acland stage three project.

Stephan credited the company for doing a “tremendous job” retaining its workforce during the coronavirus pandemic.

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