Magnetite Mines has appointed two new non-executive directors to help guide the iron ore player into production, with a DFS due later this year.

Magnetite Mines has gone for global business acumen and mining expertise adding Jim McKerlie and Paul White to its board as non-executive directors.

The Magnetite (ASX:MGT) board will now comprise a majority of independent non-executive directors, in line with ASX best practice recommendations.

It bolsters the company’s corporate governance credentials as it moves to the next phase of development on the Razorback Iron Ore Project in South Australia with a DFS due for completion later this year.

Global business and mining expertise

Both new appointees bring a wealth of knowledge to the iron ore miner, and both are strong believers in the role high-grade iron ore will play in a greener world economy.

McKerlie has more than 30 years’ experience transforming digital, media, technology, energy, and professional services organisations.

He has held senior roles and board positions for ten public company boards including ASX200 companies.

During his time as Drillsearch Chair, McKerlie oversaw numerous M&A transactions and international capital raisings allowing the company to enjoy extraordinary growth under his leadership.

He has been Chair of four technology and minerals companies that have all undertaken a successful IPO and has extensive experience in fundraising in Equity and Capital Markets.

“It is very exciting to be involved in this significant growth opportunity that has the potential to not only reward shareholders over the long term, but to make a major contribution to regional and state development in South Australia,” he said.

“Even more important is the prospect of being part of driving Australia towards a greener future through the development of the high-quality iron ore the Company has in its reserves.

“I look forward to bringing my experience in growing Australian resource companies to Magnetite Mines and working with the board and management to build a great success story.”

White, most recently the CEO of the Brisbane Broncos NRL business, has a long history of experience in mining, with expertise in people strategy, business transformation and community stakeholder relations including global mining giants Anglo American and Glencore-Xstrata.

He said the global market for iron ore is reaching a point where grade, jurisdiction, ability to scale and operational capability are becoming critically important.

“Magnetite is well placed to deliver on each of these points against a backdrop of continuing global demand for higher- grade iron ore and increasing challenges in the availability of supply (at grade) from existing sources.”

Appointments deliver on stronger board 

The appointments of McKerlie and White have been heralded as a major step for the miner in strengthening its board.

It will provide additional confidence to investors in the knowledge, experience and scrutiny the board will apply to decisions on Magnetite’s Razorback development as the process reaches its pointy end.

Magnetite Mines Executive Chairman and CEO Peter Schubert described McKerlie and White as boasting “a rare combination of talent, experience and expertise (that) will be highly advantageous as we move closer to revitalising South Australia’s mining industry for the benefit of all key stakeholders, the region and Australia as a whole.”

“Strengthening our Board is a key element in this journey, both to ensure the highest standards of governance and to ensure that the Board members have an appropriate range of experience and skills,” he said.

“We are delighted to welcome Paul and Jim to the Board, which will benefit from their deep experience and critical skills as we move the Razorback Iron Ore Project from development to production.

“Jim has been integral in the transformation of many organisations and industries over the past 30 years, shaping the international media and telecommunications industries, oil and gas and energy sectors and advancing innovation through digital technology media.

“Paul is a highly accomplished and respected business leader with an outstanding track record in developing ongoing, strategic relationships and gaining trust across a range of stakeholders. He brings a depth of experience across business, communications and media, and importantly, the indigenous communities he has served throughout his career.”

Razorback’s Potential

Last year, Magnetite selected their go forward case for Razorback based on 3Mt capacity of premium iron ore concentrate at 68% Fe with a NPV of $700M and post tax ungeared IRR of 20% at long run iron ore prices of US$110/CFRt for the 62% Fe reference grade.

Placing a price tag of A$675M on that head grade improvement case, the positive PFS results confirmed Razorback’s potential with a reserve life of 23 years and substantial optionality to extend the life or expand from additional defined JORC resources.

The large-scale resource also leverages the advantages of a low stripping ratio, close proximity to heavy rail and existing iron ore ports and access to competitive energy with high renewables content.

Schubert said Magnetite is committed to transforming itself into a significant mining business.

“This starts with the first stage of our Razorback Iron Ore Project in South Australia, which will produce a premium iron ore product,” he said.

“We have been building our capability as a company to ensure we succeed in this challenge.”

The magnetite iron-ore player released a PFS on its Razorback mine in South Australia back in July 2021 and has moved to the next phase of development, with a DFS planned before completion this year.

This article was developed in collaboration with Magnetite Mines, 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.