OceanaGold president and chief executive officer, Mick Wilkes, has stepped down from his executive position as well as from the board for personal reasons.
Effective from March 18, the company’s former chief operating officer, Michael Holmes, has been appointed as acting president and CEO. As a result, Holmes has been added to the board of directors.
Wilkes joined OceanaGold a decade ago and oversaw a number of large expansions for the company over the period.
He was instrumental in the development of OceanaGold’s Didipio gold-copper mine in the Philippines and the subsequent commencement of commercial production in 2013.
In 2015, Wilkes led the acquisition for OceanaGold of the Waihi gold mine in the North Island of New Zealand as well as OceanaGold’s purchase of Canada-based Romarco Minerals for $641 million ($1.11 billion).
The acquisition of Romarco Minerals added Martha gold mine in New Zealand and Haile gold mine in the United States to OceanaGold’s portfolio of assets.
Chairman of the OceanaGold board Ian Reid thanked Wilkes for his contributions to the company over the last 10 years.
“On behalf of the board and everyone at OceanaGold, I would like to offer my heartfelt thanks to Mick for his significant contribution and dedication to the company over the last 10 years.
“We respect Mick’s desire to spend more time with his family and wish him well for his future endeavours,” he said.
He also noted Holmes’ prior experience as a mining executive, including spending the past seven years with OceanaGold.
“He has a deep understanding of OceanaGold’s business and is highly respected within the organisation and well regarded throughout the industry.
“The board firmly believes that the company is in good hands and thanks Michael in accepting the acting role.
“The directors look forward to working with him in implementing the company’s strategic priorities,” said Reid.
Wilkes said he was honoured to have led OceanaGold for close to 10 years.
“Over that time, the company has grown from a junior mining company to a high-margin, multinational business that is highly regarded for its operating capability in the gold sector, and has a strong future through its world class assets.
“I am very proud to have worked with so many talented and committed mining people who have positively impacted the lives of so many others in the communities in which we operate,” Wilkes said.
The company is now actively searching for a permanent president and CEO. Michael Holmes will partake in the selection process.