Zeotech is poised to take the next step in its plan to become Australia’s first domestic zeolite producer after bolstering its executive team with the appointment of CEO Alister Morrison.

Morrison will start in the role on March 13 next year, following 25 years of high-level international experience traversing energy, natural resource and the early stage technology sectors.

Importantly, by the time he links up with Zeotech (ASX:ZEO) Morrison will have spent five years at UniQuest, the University of Queensland’s main commercialisation company as senior director and head of physical sciences.

During that time, he led the initial commercialisation of Zeotech’s proprietary mineral processing innovation and “maintained contractual management oversight of the main research programs undertaken at UQ”.

This gives Morrison an intimate understanding of Zeotech’s core IP, development roadmap and commercialisation pathway.

A warm welcome

“We are very pleased to attract someone of Alister’s calibre as CEO,” ZEO managing director Peter Zardo said.

“Alister is well known to Zeotech through our relationship with UQ and UniQuest and was instrumental in negotiating the intellectual property (IP) licence and assignment option for the Company’s core mineral processing technology and remained Zeotech’s primary commercial leadership contact throughout the Company’s dealings with UQ.”

“Alister’s appointment underscores confidence in the Company’s proprietary technology and his extensive senior management, industry and commercialisation experience will play an important role in shaping and leading Zeotech’s strategy moving forward.”

“I am looking forward to working closely with Alister in an executive capacity as we target continued growth in the years ahead.”

Corporate experience and ESG focus

Outside of UQ, Morrison previously worked as senior commercial advisor at New York-listed Pioneer Natural Resources, which he helped build and secure a US$860 million asset sale in North Africa.

He also boasts roles at London-listed Gulf Keystone Petroleum, whereas a senior manager he chiefly managed economics strategy planning for a large onshore development in the Middle East, as well as time as lead energy analyst for the Indian subcontinent for global research advisory Wood Mackenzie among other key roles in energy, resources, and technology.

Morrison says he is looking forward to returning to a role in industry, adding: “I am delighted to have been approached by Zeotech for this exciting new opportunity.”

“Over the past five years at UniQuest, I – together with my team – have secured a number of high impact early-stage technology commercialisation deals, including working across cleantech, and directly with Zeotech, where the opportunity first materialised through the excellent quality of research delivered by leading researchers at UQ’s highly ranked School of Chemical Engineering.”

“I am now looking forward to returning to a pure-industry role, with an included focus on sustainability and environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG), where I can apply my considerable international experience in business development, building corporates, developing assets and delivering shareholder and broad stakeholder value.”

“I am relishing the opportunity to work closely with Peter and the rest of the Zeotech team, to accelerate commercialisation and advance go-to-market strategies for a number of potentially exciting opportunities.”

Building the Executive branch

The appointment of Morrison builds on Zeotech’s C-suite executive management, already including Zardo and Chief Commercial Officer Scott Burkhart.

Alongside its commercialisation of the proprietary mineral processing technology for the production of zeolites – also known as molecular sieves and are made up of tiny pores that make them useful as adsorbents, catalysts and ultrafine filters – Zeotech also owns one of the highest-grade raw ore kaolin deposits held under an approved ML in Australia at Toondoon in Queensland, which will provide optimal zeolite production feedstock and offers near term revenue opportunity as a DSO kaolin product (discussions with India counter-parties continue)

Last week it announced land purchase agreements for the freehold land overing mining lease ML80126 in a major de-risking initiative to accelerate its development.

Toondoon contains a high-grade resource of 3.56Mt grading 37.5% alumina, <0.4% iron and 46.5% silica, around 230km from Bundaberg.

This article was developed in collaboration with Zeotech, 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.