Ironbark Zinc Limited (ASX:IBG) has welcomed Dr Frederick Hess as independent non-executive chairman after the resignation of non-executive chairman Peter Bennetto.
The company’s board expressed gratitude for Bennetto’s leadership in pursuing the original company listing, guidance in drilling out a world-class resource at the Citronen project in Greenland, conducting engineering works for feasibility and environmental studies and advancing project permitting.
“Exceptional track record delivering large-scale mining projects”
Ironbark managing director Jonathan Downes said the board was extremely pleased to have secured Hess’ services, noting his “exceptional track record in delivering and operating large scale, international mining projects”.
Downes added: “The board considers Dr Hess’ skill set and experience to be exceptionally valuable to Ironbark for the next phase of its growth.”
Globally significant zinc mine if developed
The Citronen project in Greenland will be one of the world’s largest zinc mines if developed, hosting more than 13.1 billion pounds of zinc and lead with the resource remaining open.
It is permitted under a 30-year mining licence and boasts a positive completed feasibility study.
Adding to the project’s qualities are the low sovereign risk in Greenland, the simple process to be adopted which provides a quality product and a strong zinc market supported by exceptionally low levels of zinc warehouse levels.
Hess’ experience suited to next phase of growth
Commenting on his new role, Hess said he was extremely impressed with the work completed to date on the Citronen resource and the completed studies.
He added: “The opportunity to participate in the advancement of a world-class project is greatly appreciated.”
Hess was most recently the managing director of PanAust Limited which was acquired by Chinese state-owned-enterprise Guangdong Rising Assets Management.
His diverse background includes various roles where he managed the construction, ramp up and operation of major mines in challenging environments.
Ironbark considers his experience ideally suited to the task of guiding Ironbark’s next phase of growth.
Company transitioning to developer and producer
Outgoing chairman Bennetto said he was delighted Hess would lead Ironbark through to the funding and development of the Citronen Project.
He also recognised the need for Ironbark to undertake an orderly transition of the board in preparation for its next phase of growth, from explorer to developer and then to producer.
The transitioning company recently revised the mine plan for its Citronen Zinc Project through a high-grade mining review.
Preliminary results show an increase in grade of 23% over the first 10 years from the original large-scale 3.3-million tonne per annum mine plan, with the revised mining schedule forming the basis for a study on an alternative 1-million-tonne a year operation.
The review will investigate the option of scaling the development of Citronen in a manner more suitable to current capital markets, focusing on the potential to develop a smaller start-up mine with expected lower capital costs.