Effective March 31, Australian rare earths miner Lynas Corp will have a new chief executive officer as Nicholas Curtis steps down to give way to Eric Noyrez.
The change in leadership, the company said, reflects the rare earths mining firm's transition from development to producing status.
Overview of the Concentration Plant at Lynas Corp.'s Mt Weld Rare Earths Mine in Laverton, Western Australia.
"Achieving our first rare earths production last week is a significant transformational milestone and a fitting time for us to allow Eric to take over all executive responsibility," Mr Curtis said in the statement. "Eric has a detailed knowledge of the international rare earths and chemical industries and has led the operational implementation of the Lynas Rare Earths project."
Shareholders seemed to approve the change in the top helm as shares jumped to as high as 3.4 per cent in early trading on the ASX200.
Mr Noyrez is currently president and chief operating officer of Lynas Corp. Before joining Lynas, he was president of French chemical group Rhodia SA's Silcea unit, a global supplier of products that uses rare earths and rare earths technologies. It was in February 2010 when Lynas appointed Mr Noyrez as chief operating officer.
As Mr Noyrez takes the helm at Lynas by end of this month, Mr Curtis, meantime will remain on the board as non-executive chairman.
Mr Curtis will "continue to focus on strategy development and remain integrally involved in the development and implementation of Lynas' Shared Value program," the company said in a statement to the ASX.
"Nick has been the inspirational force driving Lynas for the past 12 years," Liam Forde, a Lynas director, who was likewise appointed to deputy chairman, was quoted by The Sydney Morning Herald.
"It was his experience in China that provided the pioneering vision to see the potential of the rich Mount Weld deposit, and it was his foresight and resilience that has ensured Lynas is now well-capitalised and entering a new era as the first significant non-Chinese supplier of rare earths to original equipment manufacturers."
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