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FFI, QEM and ERA: This week’s executive movements

FFI

Keep up with the latest executive movements across the mining sector, featuring Fortescue Future Industries, QEM, Energy Resources of Australia and more.

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Dr Guy Debelle has transitioned from the chief financial officer (CFO) of Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) to the board of FFI Australia to focus on his health.

Debelle was involved in a serious bicycle accident in August 2022 and has been managing the CFO duties during his recovery; however, he has now decided to step back.

Debelle’s new role will see him focus on policy, regulatory and financial advisory, including the development of the Australian green energy market.

“Guy is an outstanding human being who also happens to be one of the brightest economic minds in this country,” Fortescue executive chair Andrew Forrest said. “Guy has made an enormous contribution to FFI with his extensive economic credibility through his many years at the Reserve Bank of Australia.

“We are very fortunate that he will remain part of the Fortescue Family in his new position, as we continue our transition to a global green energy, technology and resources company.”

Felicity Gooding has been appointed as acting CFO in Debelle’s place.

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QEM has promoted non-executive director Tim Wall to deputy chair.

Wall is a highly experienced company director and executive across the energy, infrastructure, transport and resources sectors, with a strong leadership track record at multiple ASX100 companies. He joined QEM as a non-executive director in October.

Wall was influential in driving a strategic shift in manufacturing while he was president of Global Manufacturing & Corporate HSE for Incitec Pivot. This generated an EBIT (earnings before interest and taxes) uplift of at least $40 million.

“In the short time Tim has been with QEM, he has already impressed us with his depth of knowledge, professional networks, and strategic direction for the company,” QEM chair John Foley said.

“Elevating his position on the board enhances QEM’s ability to best leverage his expertise and ensure QEM’s continued positive progress well into the future.”

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Mark Gray has stepped down as chair of Allegiance Coal and resigned as a director of all Allegiance companies, apart from Telkwa Coal.

Given his deep knowledge and understanding of the business, Gray remained on the board to help with the transition of newly-appointed chief executive officer (CEO) Jon Romcke, but has chosen to return to New Zealand.

Gray will remain a director of Telkwa Coal to manage the environment assessment review of the Tenas project in Canada.

Matthew Wall has been appointed as chair in Gray’s place with Allegiance considering further board appointments.

“Mark has been instrumental in securing the assets that now comprise Allegiance Coal,” Allegiance CEO Jon Romcke said. “The company has two operating mines supplying coal to world markets, and two significant development projects that provide a platform for growth and further access to international coal trading opportunities.”

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BBX Minerals has appointed Ken Kluksdahl as non-executive chair after joining the company as a non-executive director in August 2022.

With more than 35 years of global operational and leadership experience, Kluksdahl has a strong knowledge of the platinum group elements (PGE) market. From 2017–21, he was chief operating officer – US region of Sibanye-Stillwater. Prior to that, he was president of AngloGold Ashanti Colombia.

BBX is developing a suite of precious metal projects in Brazil, headlined by its Três Estados and Ema gold projects in the Apuí region, Amazonas State.

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Richard Dennis has joined Energy Resources of Australia (ERA) as an independent non-executive director.

Dennis spent 35 years at Ernst & Young (EY), where he served in several executive and board roles, including Queensland managing partner from 2001–07, Oceania chief operating officer (COO), and deputy COO and CFO for Asia-Pacific from 2010–14.

He is currently non-executive chair of ASX-listed AF Legal Group, a non-executive director of ASX-listed Motorcycle Holdings, Cettire, Apiam Animal Health and Step One Clothing.

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