Minerals Council of Australia elects new Chairman

Ian Smith, Managing Director and CEO, Newcrest Mining, has been elected the new Chairman of the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA). The mid-term vacancy is due to the resignation of previous Chairman, Charlie Lenegan who moved offshore to take up a new position. The MCA represents Australia’s exploration, mining and minerals processing industry both nationally and internationally.

“I am delighted to accept the key role of Chairman of the MCA at an exciting time in the minerals industry’s expansion and development when it faces both significant opportunities and challenges,” Smith said. “Global demand for minerals continues to be strong and the outlook for the industry is extremely positive. But at the same time, the minerals industry’s ability to expand further is being hampered by severe capacity constraints in the economy. These capacity constraints include shortages of skilled workers, limited supplies of production inputs such as tyres, excessive regulation by Federal and State governments and badly functioning port road and rail transport systems.

The MCA is keen to work with Governments to address these capacity constraints so that Australia is able to fully benefit from the strongest global market growth in a generation,” Smith said. The new Chairman thanked his predecessor, Charlie Lenegan and paid tribute to his hard work and commitment. “Charlie Lenegan was a highly regarded Chairman who demonstrated strong leadership of the MCA. Under his Chairmanship, the MCA took a high profile role in advocacy and promotion of the industry and the challenges facing it, especially on the issue of how to address capacity constraints that threaten the scale and longevity of the current minerals expansion,” Smith said.

Smith also welcomed the election of Senior Vice Chairman, Owen Hegarty, CEO and Managing Director, Oxiana; Vice Chairman Graeme Hunt, President, Uranium & Olympic Dam Development as well as three new Board members. The new Board members have been elected to fill casual vacancies caused by the movement of senior personnel in the minerals industry.

The new MCA Board members are: Andrew Michelmore, Chief Executive Director, Zinifex; Brian Hill Vice President, Indonesia & Australia Operations, Newmont Australia and Stephen Creese Managing Director Australia, Rio Tinto.

Smith has been with Newcrest Mining since July 2006 when he was appointed Managing Director and CEO. He is a mining engineer by training and also holds a degree in financial administration. Prior to his present appointment at Newcrest he was the Global Head of Operational and Technical Excellence of Rio Tinto, based in London. Before that he held the position of Managing Director – Aluminium Smelting within the Rio Tinto Group. Prior to his time with the Rio Tinto he held senior operational and project roles with both Pasminco and Western Mining in Australia.