Follow the leaders: The latest executive appointments


Keep up with the latest executive movements across the mining sector, including at Lake Resources, Viking Mines, Rafaella Resources and more

Lake Resources has appointed Amalia Sáenz as non-executive director of the company to support the Kachi lithium project in Argentina.

According to Lake Resources, Sáenz is based in Buenos Aires which will help the company and its team to engage with local stakeholders as it progresses its lithium development.

Sáenz is a partner at lawfirm, Zang, Bergel & Viñes in Buenos Aires and leads the firm’s energy and natural resource practice.

She brings additional experience in the energy and resources sector as a member of the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators.

Sáenz has experience in merger and acquisition, financing, joint venture and operating agreements in Argentina, along with working in Central Asia and the United Kingdom for exploration and production developments.


Rafaella Resources has appointed Juan José López Muñoz as general manager of subsidiary Galicia Tin and Tungsten.

The Spanish subsidiary owns the Santa Comba tungsten project, with Muñoz’s appointment bringing additional mining experience to the company.

Muñoz is a qualified mining engineer from Santa Comba, Spain and has a strong local presence in the resources industry.

Rafaella stated Muñoz worked closely with authorities during his eight-year tenure at CAVISA, which included growing the operations and building a strong reputation for sustainable mining.

At Rafaella, Muñoz will focus on the restart of the Santa Comba tungsten project’s underground operation, open pit permitting and new business in the Iberian Peninsula to grow the company’s portfolio.

“Juan José has an excellent track record in the region, successfully managing a lean and efficient operation,” Rafaella managing director Steven Turner said.

“His appointment bolsters the company’s ability to prepare Santa Comba for production at a time when the world is increasing its focus on critical metals such as tungsten and the concern over concentration of supply from China.”


Ray Whitten has resigned as executive chairman of Viking Mines with non-executive director Michael Cox appointed as interim non-executive chairman.

Whitten’s resignation follows almost seven years as a director at Viking Mines.

Viking will undertake a review of the company after it completes exploration phases at the First Hit gold project in Western Australia.

“After almost seven years as a director, with a number of these as chair, I have seen this company take on a complete transformation and now, having received a significant portion of unpaid proceeds from the sale of the Akoase gold project, I feel now is the right time to step aside,” Whitten said.

Viking will make no adjustment to Cox’s remuneration following the interim non-executive chairman role.


Australian Strategic Materials (ASM) has appointed general counsel Julie Jones as joint company secretary.

Jones will take on the job alongside joint company secretary Dennis Wilkins, with James Carter resigning from his joint secretary role.

According to ASM, Jones holds a background in mining and manufacturing with over 18 years of legal, commercial, strategic and corporate governance experience.

Jones previously served as company secretary for Matrix Composite and Engineering.

She has also worked as corporate counsel at Iluka Resources, and general council and director of people at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA.

“Julie brings a wealth of experience across a range of industries that will be invaluable as we progress the Dubbo project, and complete the conditions under the framework agreement with the South Korean investing partnership,” ASM managing director David Woodall said.


KGL Resources (KGL) executive chairman Denis Wood has announced his retirement, effective August 30.

Wood joined the KGL board in July 2015 and served as chairman since November 2015.

KGL independent non-executive director Peter Hay will assume the role of acting chair upon Wood’s departure.

The company has also appointed chief executive officer Simon Finnis as the company’s managing director.

Finnis started as chief executive officer last month and has now joined the board as managing director.

“It’s now more than five years since we redirected the company strategy to build a sustainable copper mine project at Jervois,”  Wood said.

“KGL is now strongly placed to take Jervois to development. We have increased the size and quality of the mineral resource, almost doubling the copper grade and significantly increasing confidence levels.

“After a positive pre-feasibility study last year, a final feasibility study of the proposed mine is nearing completion, with high potential opportunities created to extend production beyond the initial phase.”

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