Aura Energy appoints rockstar board to focus on uranium production and high-growth demand for nuclear power
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Aura Energy’s 2021 AGM is set for a strategic transformational board restructure to allow Aura to focus on uranium production at Tiris.
Aura Energy (ASX:AEE) is preparing for uranium production at the low capex, low operating cost Tiris Project in Mauritania, and is undergoing strategic changes driven by the rapidly growing demand for nuclear energy, as the world shift towards a decarbonised energy system.
Proposed strategic changes include new board members Phil Mitchell as chairman, while Warren Mundine and Bryan Dixon will be elected as non-executive directors at the upcoming AGM, subject to shareholder approval.
The new board appointments follow the recent capital estimate and DFS update, and resource upgrade of 10% at Tiris, as well as the US$20m Offtake Financing Agreement with Curzon, complementing the Uranium Offtake Agreement executed with Curzon in January 2019.
Aura’s (ASX:AEE) (AIM:AURA) new board will apply its significant experience to fast track Tiris to near term production, with the new appointments outlined below.
M&A mining heavyweight Mitchell has significant experience having held former roles as head of business development and strategy at Rio Tinto, being accountable for the company’s M&A portfolio and divestments. He was also chief financial officer of Rio Tinto Iron ore, the company’s largest Australian business, and was also responsible for developing the strategic plan that saw Rio Tinto Iron Ore dominate profitable expansion to support China’s growth. He was also a member of the executive committee at Anglo Gold.
Mitchell also lead the acquisition of the Nimba Iron Ore project for bilionairre Robert Friedland’s High Power Exploration (HPX), including the purchase arrangements with BHP, Newmont and Orano.
Mundine is renowned as one of Australia’s prominent independent thinkers in the mining sector and nuclear power space, and has worked on numerous major resource projects for Fortescue Metals Group, Rio Tinto, BHP, and AGL Pipelines & Engineering Waanyi Downer joint venture. He is also a former director of Australian Uranium Association.
Dixon has contributed significant experience to the resource sector as a chartered accountant, building junior exploration companies into mining producers for more than 20 years, and has held a numerous director and management roles with emerging resource companies.
Martin Rogers, Peter Ward, and Peter Reeve will step down from the board following the AGM, with the Company to appoint a new Managing Director and CEO, with significant production experience to replace Reeve in his current role. Peter Reeve will transition to be CEO of Aura’s gold subsidiary in preparation for an IPO of that company in the new year. He will continue to advise the new Aura board for 12 months.
Commenting on the board restructure, chairman Martin Rogers said: “Tiris has always been a magnificent uranium project that is now ready to set sail. The uranium market has switched from bear to bull market, and it is now time to start preparing for production at Aura’s Tiris Uranium Project.”
“The new proposed board of directors have been strategically chosen with a strong focus on production.”
“With their extensive industry experience and contacts, the company will be able to commence production at Tiris in the near term, thereby creating further value for Aura shareholders as the company continues to capitalise on the rapidly growing demand for nuclear.”
The new board will run a process to appoint a new CEO of Aura within the next six months with the right skill set to take the Tiris uranium project into production.
The company’s AGM will be held at 10am AEDT on December 21, 2021.
Aligned with Aura’s strategic focus on uranium production, the company said its gold subsidiary, Archaean Greenstone Gold, will be spun out and listed on the ASX in 2022 with a planned in-species distribution to Aura shareholders, which has the potential to create significant value for Aura shareholders.
This transaction will be subject to shareholder and ASX approval at the next extraordinary general meeting (EGM) planned for early 2022.
More information on this will follow in due course.
This article was developed in collaboration with Aura Energy, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.
This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.