In this role, Smith will focus on supply chain, offtake and strategic partner negotiations for Canyon’s Minim Martap Bauxite Project in Cameroon.
Until November 2019, the seasoned bauxite executive was a key member of Guinea Alumina Corporation (GAC)’s management team.
Delivered Guinea bauxite project
This team successfully delivered the US$1.4 billion, 3 million tonnes per annum GAC Bauxite Project in northwest Guinea.
The GAC bauxite mine is West Africa’s newest bauxite mining and export project, commissioned in late 2019.
Canyon’s new chief development officer has more than 35 years’ experience in a variety of international locations relating to new markets, business development, exploration, feasibility studies and construction in bauxite and alumina projects.
Smith started with the GAC Project in 2003 as general manager of operations and projects when the project was at a similar stage of development as Canyon’s Minim Martap Project.
He oversaw the development of the project from exploration, through reserve estimation and onto bankable feasibility studies.
Led government negotiations
This included leading negotiations for agreements with the Guinea Government regarding infrastructure and taxes.
He remained as a senior executive during the construction and commissioning of the project.
Smith said, “The Minim Martap Project in Cameroon is a tier-one bauxite project with global significance.
“I’m looking forward to steering the project through development and into production.
“The high-quality bauxite from Minim Martap will be in demand from global alumina refiners for decades.”
To focus on project delivery
In the chief development officer role, Smith will focus on delivery of the project.
Core responsibilities will include:
- Lead negotiations and liaison with the Government of Cameroon and other relevant entities in relation to access and commercial agreements for the rail and port facilities in Cameroon;
- Introduce Canyon Resources and lead negotiations with potential strategic investors, JV partners and offtake partners for the Minim Martap Project; and
- Provide counsel for project execution, including potential partners, funding and bauxite marketing and offtake strategies based on his recent experience.
Smith previously worked for Gulf Canada Resources Ltd and BHP Group Ltd (ASX:BHP).
He was the Conakry, Guinea-based project director for BHP Aluminium’s Boffa Santou Houda bauxite/alumina project from 2009 to 2012.
Prior to 2009, he worked in BHP’s Aluminium group and BHP’s Petroleum division in Australia, Middle East and South East Asia.
Smith holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in geological engineering from Michigan Technological University in the United States.