‘The potential is huge’: Andrew Teo on why he joined the Myanmar Metals board
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Special Report: In June, veteran business leader Andrew Teo joined the Myanmar Metals (ASX:MYL) board. What does Teo – who helped build private WA company BGC into Australia’s largest home builder – see in this near term mine development story?
From modest beginnings as a property developer in the 1960’s, BGC became Australia’s largest privately-owned companies by turnover.
For 35 years Teo sat at the right hand of late owner Len Buckeridge, running the accounting function, the treasury, the legal – you name it.
“We were very slim up top at BGC; it was a very hands-on style of management,” Teo told Stockhead.
“I was very much involved in growing that business.
“BGC was a very large organisation, and very large in terms of turnover – close to $3 billion. At one stage we had about 7500 direct and indirect employees and contractors.
“I take great pride in that journey.”
In 2010, Teo joined the board of profitable 100,000oz per annum gold producer Medusa Mining (ASX:MML), and in 2013, became chairman.
“We have a gold mine plus a few tenements in the Philippines, and as part of my role as chairman of Medusa I am always searching for other Asian assets,” Teo says.
Myanmar was one place Medusa had a look; it is a country with a lot of mineral potential, Teo says.
He was immediately attracted to MYL because of the enormous quality – and size — of its mineral assets. He’s not alone.
After a 2 year mine build Bawdwin will come online and quickly establish itself as the world’s #3 lead producer and a top-10 silver producer.
It’s a monster. The first 13 years of production at Bawdwin is called the ‘starter pit’, but the company has since defined two further phases of open cut mining – that’s decades and decades of mining and processing.
“If I can borrow [MYL chairman] John Lambs words, Bawdwin has been ‘frozen’ since World War 2,” Teo says.
MYL also has well established and strong relationships in Myanmar – the company respects the law and the culture of the people.
That makes the company very attractive to investors, Teo says.
“As the chair of Medusa, and hailing from Malaysia myself, I have long-standing exposure to South East Asia already,” Teo says.
“I would certainly add the value of understanding the local requirements, understanding the stakeholders.
“Working with local stakeholders are paramount to any operation, in any jurisdiction.”
Teo is excited to be involved in the MYL development story.
“The MIC permits should be with MYL before the end of the calendar year,” he says.
The MIC (Myanmar Investment Commission) permit is crucial for any foreign company looking to build, own and operate an asset in-country.
“That will be the impetus, the springboard towards production for MYL, Teo says.
“MYL could be a heavyweight in this region — the potential is huge.”