Theta Gold Mines Ltd (ASX:TGM) (OTCMKTS:TGMGF) has strengthened its management team by appointing two highly experienced former Harmony Gold specialists who have extensive proven track records in project development and project delivery.
Mitford Mundell has been appointed as chief executive officer, Africa, while Jacques Du Triou will serve as chief operating officer, Africa.
With their extensive project execution, successful delivery and operational optimisation experience, both will assist Theta as it transitions from explorer into a developer and thereafter into an efficient low-cost gold producer.
“A major coup”
Chairman Bill Guy said: “The appointment of Mitford and Jacques is a major coup for Theta Gold.
“Both have strong skill sets and proven experience in the South African mining sector and these could not be more aligned to our requirements, especially as we transition from mine developer to low-cost gold producer.
“Mr Mundell has been working with Theta for the last four months and has closely evaluated our projects – it is testament to Theta’s ore resources and project potential that we have managed to attract such highly skilled individuals.
“Both Mitford and Jacques have operated at all levels of the mining industry and are skilled in both open cut and underground mining.”
“Imperative for development”
“This is imperative for our project development, as it will allow the company to continue its work on the open pits, while simultaneously assessing underground mining opportunities on already granted mining rights,” Guy said.
“This will also allow the company to further refine and potentially extend its life of mine, optimise existing projects and consider the multiple options and permutations on tackling our 6-million-ounce resource base.”
Mundell has extensive experience in the mining sector and specialises in asset optimisation, strategic planning, stakeholder management, project building and change management in open pit and underground mining contexts.
He has worked and consulted to some of Africa’s largest mining companies including Harmony, De Beers Mining Corporation, Namakwa Diamonds and Anglo American.
At Harmony, Africa’s largest gold miner, he gained extensive hands-on experience beginning as a miner and rising through to shift boss, mine captain, mine manager, general manager and business coach. Amongst others, Mundell was mine manager at the Kalgold Project, Harmony’s open-pit gold operation in South Africa.
He was responsible for commissioning multiple mines and establishing one of Harmony’s mines as the lowest cost producer in the group.
Most recently as CEO of Namakwa Diamonds, Mundell led the commissioning and expansion of its Kao Diamond Mine.
He delivered a new plant and turned Namakwa from losses to profitability, increased plant throughput and extended the initial three-year mine life to plus-20 years, tripling the company’s valuation.
All mine lifecycle stages
Du Triou has more than 28 years’ experience in the South African mining industry across all stages of a mine’s lifecycle.
He specialises in project and financial evaluations, construction, mine expansion, risk assessments, due diligence, execution and commissioning to full nameplate capacity.
Du Triou began his career with Harmony and progressed to general manager (2009-2015). During this time, he led the Doornkop South Reed deepening project which had an estimated capital cost of R1.2 billion (~A$990 million) from feasibility to peak production and also worked extensively on Harmony’s Kalgold project.
Following his time with Harmony, he founded Qmotion Mining. As managing director, he developed and implemented business strategies that established the company as a successful contracting services provider.
Qmotion has successfully delivered contracts for the Evander Gold Mine, Sibanye Stillwater, Anglo Platinum, Royal Bafokeng Platinum and Murray & Roberts Holdings.
“Very exciting stage”
These appointments strengthen the company’s in-country operations team and their skill sets align to the company’s near-term development and pending production activities.
Guy added: “Theta Gold has considerable optionality across our vast asset base and the upside value is significant.
“Our focused and systematic approach should result in more positive updates on mine development activities as we enter a very exciting stage in the company’s evolution.
“We have a number of near-term value catalysts pending that have the potential to be significant rerating events.”