New Hastings and Sandfire bosses: This week’s executive movements


Keep up with the latest executive movements across the mining sector, featuring Hastings Technology Metals, Sandfire Resources and OreCorp.


Alwyn Vorster has been appointed interim chief executive officer (CEO) of emerging rare earths player Hastings Technology Metals.

Vorster was managing director of BCI for more than six years and was also formerly the managing director of Iron Ore Holdings and CEO of API Management.

In addition, he has extensive experience in senior management positions in several mining and resources companies, including Rio Tinto Iron Ore, Aquila Resources, and Kumba Resources.

Following the company’s recent Hastings 2.0 mine-to-magnet strategy, executive chair Charles Lew said it had now reached a pivotal point in its lifecycle.

“The company is approaching the milestone of main construction commencement and at the same time we are positioning it to become a global player in the downstream market for rare earths magnets,” he said.

“It is therefore essential that we strengthen our management team and organisation structure for this next phase of our development and ensure that we are well prepared to steer the company forward.

“We welcome Alwyn to Hastings in the newly created position of interim CEO. He has extensive technical, commercial and operational leadership capability along with relevant and current experience in project contracting and delivery within the present inflationary environment.

“I will continue leading the company as executive chair, focusing more on mine-to-magnet strategy and growth initiatives, while Alwyn will be based in Perth, managing the team on a day-to-day basis with a focus on the delivery and funding of the Yangibana rare earths project in WA.”


Sandfire Resources has appointed Brendan Harris as its new managing director and CEO.

The news follows a global search process to replace founding CEO Karl Simich, who stepped down from the role at the end of September.

Harris is an experienced exploration geologist and highly regarded equity analyst, and has served as a senior executive with BHP and South32. He has been a member of South32’s executive management team since its demerger from BHP in 2015 and played a key role in the company’s establishment as its inaugural chief financial officer.

Most recently, he held the role of chief human resources and commercial officer at South32, with responsibility for global commodity marketing, procurement and human resources. He also previously served as BHP’s global head of investor relations.

Sandfire said Harris’ appointment positions the company to execute the next phase of its growth strategy and capitalise on its emerging position as a multi-mine copper producer.


OreCorp has appointed current managing director and CEO Matthew Yates as executive chair following the retirement of Craig Williams as of the company’s annual general meeting on November 16.

Chief operating officer Henk Diederichs has been promoted to the position of managing director and CEO in Yates’ place.

Diederichs initially joined OreCorp as vice president project development in 2016 and was instrumental in leading the company’s Nyanzaga gold project in Tanzania through scoping and pre-feasibility study phases.

Yates said the company was strongly placed following the appointments.

“In conjunction with the appointment of Michael Davis last month, OreCorp’s refresh and reset of the board and senior management will position it strongly as it transitions from developer to producer,” he said.

“Henk is an exceptional individual who has made an outstanding contribution to OreCorp in recent times. He has strong leadership skills and extensive technical and operational experience, making him an ideal candidate to lead the company into its next phase.”


Savannah Goldfields has appointed Brett Thompson as CEO, with the previous CEO Brad Gordon to continue as non-executive director of the company.

With 40 years’ experience in the international mining sector, Thompson was recently head of operations at AngloGold Ashanti’s Obuasi gold mine in Ghana. Prior to that, he held roles such as chief operating officer of Kimberley Diamonds and general manager of Anglo American’s Dawson coal mine in Queensland.

“We are pleased to have been able to appoint Brett to lead the company through the next exciting phase of its development,” Savannah chair Stephen Bizzell said.

“He brings with him a wealth of international and diversified mining experience to build on the work done to date by the Savannah team in successfully taking the company through the transition from explorer to producer.”

Savannah owns the Georgetown gold project and Agate Creek gold mine in Queensland.


Oar Resources has welcomed Paul Stephen as CEO. Stephen was the co-founder and executive director of Crusader Resources, where he oversaw the discovery, development and operations of the Posse iron ore mine in Brazil.

In addition, Stephen managed the discovery and delineation of over 2.6 million ounces of gold for Crusader while operating in Brazil, resulting in the company achieving a market valuation of more than $160 million.

Oar chair Chris Gale said Stephen arrives at an important time.

“We are delighted to have Paul as the CEO at this important point in the company’s development, to assist Oar in progressing its battery metal projects portfolio, which includes a graphite project in South Australia and a lithium project in Western Australia,” he said.

“Paul brings a wealth of experience, having delivered projects from discovery through to production, which will help ensure Oar successfully delivers the next phase of its critical mineral development strategy.”

Previous ArticleNext Article
Send this to a friend