Gaines spear­heads re­fo­cused FMG

“It is this aver­sion to be­ing the smartest per­son in the room, her ob­vi­ous and ef­fec­tive col­le­gial­ity and abil­ity to com­mu­ni­cate at all lev­els of both the or­gan­i­sa­tion and the com­mu­nity that led to the Board’s de­ci­sion to se­lect El­iz­a­beth over an out­stand

The Australian Mining Review - - NEWS - EL­IZ­A­BETH FABRI WA

FORTESCUE Me­tals Group (FMG) has named El­iz­a­beth Gaines as its incoming chief ex­ec­u­tive to re­place long-time boss Nev Power in mid-Fe­bru­ary.

Ms Gaines’ ap­point­ment will co­in­cide with plans by FMG to lift the grade of the bulk of its pro­duc­tion to more than 60 per cent iron to com­pete head-to-head in the higher grade mar­kets.

The for­mer Hel­loworld chief ex­ec­u­tive joined the FMG board in 2013 and was ap­pointed chief fi­nan­cial of­fi­cer on 6 Fe­bru­ary 2017.

Ms Gaines will be the third chief ex­ec­u­tive in FMG’s 15-year his­tory and the first fe­male chief ex­ec­u­tive of a ma­jor Aus­tralian min­ing com­pany.

Ms Gaines said she was both priv­i­leged and hum­bled to be cho­sen and was ex­cited to take FMG through its next stages.

“Fortescue is a unique com­pany and a fea­ture of our suc­cess is the strong re­la­tion­ship be­tween the chair­man and chief ex­ec­u­tive,” Ms Gaines said.

“I em­brace the cul­ture and values that truly set this com­pany apart and I look for­ward to work­ing with An­drew, the Board and the newly ap­pointed lead­er­ship team of tal­ented in­di­vid­u­als to con­tinue to de­liver suc­cess and value for our share­hold­ers.”

FMG di­rec­tor op­er­a­tions Greg Lil­ley­man, the pre­sumed front run­ner for the top job, has been pro­moted to chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer, while Ian Wells will be ap­pointed to the role of chief fi­nan­cial of­fi­cer, mov­ing from his cur­rent role as group man­ager, cor­po­rate fi­nance.

Julie Shut­tle­worth will also take up the new role of deputy chief ex­ec­u­tive, hav­ing most re­cently held the po­si­tion of Fortescue’s Solomon op­er­a­tions gen­eral man­ager.

FMG chair­man An­drew For­rest said the new Core Lead­er­ship Team ( CLT) would con­tinue and im­prove on Mr Power’s legacy, and cham­pion Fortescue’s unique cul­ture.

“El­iz­a­beth has shown strong ap­ti­tude to en­cour­age her col­leagues and sleet recog­ni­tion to them while ac­tively sup­port­ing all those around her to be as suc­cess­ful as pos­si­ble,” Mr For­rest said.

“It is this aver­sion to be­ing the smartest per­son in the room, her ob­vi­ous and ef­fec­tive col­le­gial­ity and abil­ity to com­mu­ni­cate at all lev­els of both the or­gan­i­sa­tion and the com­mu­nity that led to the Board’s de­ci­sion to se­lect El­iz­a­beth over an out­stand­ing in­ter­na­tional field of CEO ap­pli­cants.”

Mr For­rest also an­nounced a change in mar­ket­ing fo­cus to lift its pro­duc­tion grade above 60 per cent iron to al­low “greater pen­e­tra­tion in global iron mar­kets”.

A re­cent Deutsche Bank re­search note re­ported dis­count­ing was con­tin­u­ing in China and af­fect­ing low grade iron ore.

It said iron ore stocks held by BHP and Rio Tinto were the equiv­a­lent of about 10 days of pro­duc­tion, where lower grade pro­ducer FMG’s stocks had grown to about 39 days.

Mr For­rest said it would achieve its tar­get of higher ore grades through the Fire­tail re­place­ment project, with­out “los­ing the com­pany’s fo­cus on min­i­mum mine lives of 20 years”.

Fortescue Me­tals Group’s new core lead­er­ship team.

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