Changing of guard at Northern Star
Bill Beament, the man who drove the rapid rise of explorer Northern Star Resources to serious mid-tier gold miner, will hand over the chief executive role to chief operating officer Stuart Tonkin.
In a move reminiscent of Andrew Forrest’s path at iron ore miner Fortescue Metals Group, Mr Beament will become Northern Star’s executive chairman.
Existing chairman Chris Rowe will transition to the role of nonexecutive director.
In other changes, John Fitzgerald will assume the lead independent director’s role and the board will appoint former Atlas Iron boss David Flanagan and former Verve Energy chief Shirley In’t Veld as non-executive directors.
The changes, which will leave Northern Star with five independent non-executive directors on a six-member board, will take place after the company’s annual general meeting in November.
The company said the changes would allow it to develop its growth strategies and maximise its significant opportunities while maintaining its strong emphasis on operational performance.
Mr Rowe said Northern Star was poised to embark on its next chapter of growth.
“Northern Star is now in the outstanding position of having free annual cash flow of around $225 million and no debt, and production is on track to rise to 600,000 ounces a year by 2018,” he said.
“As a result, we have a host of growth opportunities, as demonstrated by the recent exploration success around our concentrated centres of Kalgoorlie and Jundee. “The board additions and management restructure is aimed at enabling the company to exploit its growth opportunities while maintaining its track record of strong, consistent production, tight cost control and superior financial returns.”
Mr Beament rose to the helm of Northern Star in 2007 and was behind the 2010, $40 million acquisition of the Paulsens gold mine in the Pilbara.
Paulsens became a cash cow for the company, launching an acquisition strategy of picking up existing operating assets cheaply.
The company now operates the Paulsens mine, along with Plutonic, Jundee, Kanowna Belle and the East Kundana joint venture. It also owns the Central Tanami project in the Northern Territory.