The Fortescue shake-up and other recent executive movements

Keep up with the latest executive movements across the mining sector, featuring Fortescue Metals Group, BHP, Hawsons Iron and more.  


Fortescue Metals Group has made several executive changes as the company continues to advance its green transformation.

With Elizabeth Gaines concluding her tenure as Fortescue’s chief executive officer (CEO) in August 2022, company co-founder Andrew Forrest will be appointed executive chair. He will specifically oversee the iron ore business for an interim period.

Gaines will remain on the Fortescue board as a non-executive director and will become Global Brand Ambassador for Fortescue Future Industries (FFI).

The major miner has also announced that former president and CEO of General Electric (GE) Europe, Dr Mark Hutchinson, will join FFI in July 2022, initially as director of projects before transitioning to the role of FFI CEO by the end of 2022.

Hutchinson spent 24 years at GE, where he led the company in China and was most recently president and CEO of GE Europe.

Current FFI CEO Julie Shuttleworth will continue her role during the transition process before eventually moving into a senior executive leadership role at the company.

Other appointments include Li Yifei as a Fortescue board director, former AGL Energy CEO Andrew Vesey as FFI’s head of energy transitions projects, Dr Jalal Bagherli as co-chair of Fortescue subsidiary Williams Advanced Engineering, and Christiaan Heyning as head of decarbonisation.


Malcolm Broomhead and John Mogford have resigned as non-executive directors of BHP, having been directors of the company for 12 and five years, respectively.

In 2021, the BHP board requested Broomhead seek re-election at the 2021 annual general meeting (AGM) for a further year as the company navigated its corporate unification and petroleum merger with Woodside. At the time, Broomhead informed the board he would remain on the board until the 2022 AGM.

Mogford intended to retire following the completed divestment of BHP’s oil and gas assets through the Woodside merger. He will also step down as chair of BHP’s sustainability committee in June and be replaced by Gary Goldberg.

“I would like to thank Malcolm and John for their outstanding contribution to the board and to value creation for BHP shareholders,” BHP chair Ken MacKenzie said.

“Both Malcolm and John have showed great commitment to our ongoing success and in particular over the last 12 months where they contributed significantly as the group successfully navigated major strategic changes including the investment in Jansen (BHP’s greenfield potash project), the unification of the corporate group and the merger of the petroleum business with Woodside.”


Hawsons Iron has appointed respected resources industry professional David Woodall as non-executive chair as the company continues to advance its namesake iron ore project in New South Wales.

Woodall brings around 50 years’ experience to the Hawsons Iron board, having served as senior executive, director and chair in commercial and not-for-profit sectors. This has seen him sit on the boards of Ergon Energy, Tarong Energy Corporation, Starfish Windfarm, TN Power, Terra Gas Traders and Tarong Renewable Energy.

Woodall has been a member of the Australia–China Council and has served several terms as chair of the Queensland–China Council. His experience working alongside Chinese delegates will be a valued asset to Hawsons Iron and the company’s green steel ambitions.

“Dave has been involved with Hawsons for almost 18 months now, most recently as a member of our advisory committee appointed earlier this year to provide the board with strategic advice on the progress and quality of our BFS (bankable feasibility study),” current Hawsons Iron executive chair Bryan Granzien said.

“This expansion of the board was always part of our plan once we got the company into the strong position it is today, so the time is right and we are very lucky to have someone with such a depth of boardroom, management and capital markets experience as Dave join the company as non-executive chair.”

As part of Woodall’s appointment, Granzien will transition into the role of managing director and focus on the delivery of Hawsons Iron’s BFS.


Zimi Meka has joined Mineral Resources (MinRes) as an independent non-executive director, who is currently the CEO of consulting and engineering firm, Ausenco.

Meka has more than 35 years’ experience in the design, construction and operation of mineral processing plants, and has grown Ausenco from its inception into a well-respected global business of more than 3000 employees across 14 countries.

MinRes chair James McClements said Meka would be a valued addition to the company.

“On behalf of my fellow directors, I am delighted to welcome Zimi to the MinRes family,” he said. “His significant commercial and engineering experience, and ability to deliver innovative solutions to the resources industry will be of significant value to MinRes. His appointment will broaden and strengthen the board as we continue to execute our growth strategy.”


Makuch joins Karora: This week’s executive appointments

Keep up with the latest executive movements across the mining sector, featuring Karora Resources, Kairos Minerals, KGL Resources and more.  


Former chief executive officer (CEO) of Kirkland Lake Gold, Tony Makuch, has joined the Karora Resources team as a special advisor.

During his time at Kirkland Lake, Makuch led the company’s transformation, boosting its annual gold production from 315,000 ounces to more than 1.4 million ounces. Kirkland Lake’s market capitalisation jumped from $1 billion to $13 billion in the process.

The new appointment comes as Karora looks to increase the gold production from its integrated Beta Hunt gold mine and Higginsville gold operations in Western Australia to between 185,000–205,000 ounces by 2024.

Karora CEO and chair Paul A Huet was thrilled to have someone of Makuch’s ilk join the company.

“I am thrilled to welcome Makuch to the Karora team,” he said. “Having worked with Tony personally in the past, I am honoured we will have his guidance as we move forward.

“Tony has a strong track record of growing mining companies, as demonstrated during his extremely successful tenure leading Kirkland Lake as CEO from 2016 until its merger with Agnico in early 2022.”


Gold and lithium explorer Kairos Minerals has appointed Peter Turner as its new managing director and Klaus Echof as its non-executive chair.

With more than 25 years’ experience in the resources sector, Turner has worked for the likes of Perseus Mining, Placer Dome Asia Pacific, Delta Gold, and Goldbelt Resources, and led exploration projects in Western Australia, Africa, the Middle East and South-East Asia.

Eckhof was the founder and executive chair of AVZ Minerals, a company focused on developing the Manono project, one of the world’s largest undeveloped lithium deposits located in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). At the time of writing, AVZ had a market capitalisation of $2.75 billion.

Turner and Eckhof will play important roles in the continued development of Kairos’ Mt York and Roe Hills projects in WA.

“With an already substantial resource base at Mt York, we will apply smart exploration with the aim of growing the resource significantly. It is a large mineralised system in a tier-one location,” Turner said.

“We are equally excited by the lithium potential of Kairos’ Roe Hills project in what is a highly prospective place for find fertile LCT (lithium-caesium-tantalum) pegmatites. We have a huge land holding with promising lithium-in-soil anomalies waiting to be drilled.”


Jeff Gerard has joined KGL Resources as an independent non-executive director. Gerard has more than 40 years’ experience in various technical, operational, commercial and executive management roles in the resources industry.

Gerard has been chief operating officer of Xstrata Coal South Africa in the past, where he coordinated greenfield and brownfield project developments, managing the feasibility studies, approvals and construction of a range of projects.

While at Glencore, he led operational integrity and performance reviews for the McArthur River mine in Northern Territory, Katanga and Mutanda copper assets in the DRC, and Kazzinc in Kazakhstan.

KGL chairman Peter Hay said Gerard would be key to finalising the company’s feasibility study for its Jervois copper project in the NT and bringing the project into production.


Helix Resources has appointed Dr Kylie Prendergast as a non-executive director. Prendergast brings with her more than 25 years’ experience in the international resources sector.

Working across many different jurisdictions, Prendergast has played key roles in business development, project technical and economic evaluation, and commercial management of mining projects.

Prendergast is currently partner of Petram Capital, a private equity principal investor, and chief executive officer of Kina Copper & Gold. She has also held senior leadership roles with Felix Gold, Mawarid Mining, Batu Mining, and Gold Fields St Ives.

Helix managing director Mike Rosenstreich said Prendergast arrived at an important time as the company advances its copper projects in the Cobar region of New South Wales.


Monger Gold has announced the resignation of Romy Hersham from its board and appointed Yehoshua (Shuie) Gestetner as interim independent director in Hersham’s place.

With a strong background in management consulting, strategic development and fundraising, Gestetner has been a global investor for nearly a decade and was instrumental in launching an Australian business-to-business technology business.

Having recently acquired the Scotty lithium project in Nevada, US, Monger Gold said it was searching for a new director with significant experience in the lithium space. The company has already shortlisted several candidates for the role.

Monger Gold is also developing its Mt Monger North and South gold projects in WA.