Mining firm Arc Minerals (LSE:ARCM) rose 5pc to 3.6p today after appointing Don Bailey, a former head of mining operations at Rio Tinto in Africa, South America, and Europe, as a non-executive director. Bailey will lead the development of a commercial-scale copper and cobalt processing plant at Arc’s flagship Zamsort project in Zambia.
Bailey spent 30 years with Rio Tinto and was responsible for the development of numerous major international projects. These include the Escondida mine in Chile, the Moro d’Oro mine in Brazil, and the Neves Corvo mine in Portugal. He was also a director of several Rio Tinto international companies including Palabora Mining and Rossing Uranium in Africa.
After working at Rio Tinto, Bailey went to be a founder member of LionOre Mining International, where he was also chief executive and chairman. LionOre developed from a startup into a mid-tier mining company and was ultimately acquired by Norilsk Nickel in June 2007.
On today’s appointment, Nick von Schirnding, executive chairman at Arc Minerals, said: ‘Don Bailey brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the ARC Board both in the corporate and operational arenas with more than 50 years in the industry. Since late last year, I have been working closely with Don, and I have been greatly impressed by his drive and energy. I am delighted to strengthen our team with Don’s arrival and look forward to reporting back to shareholders with further progress going forward.”
Bailey added: ‘I am very pleased to be joining the board of Arc Minerals as they deliver on what is a major transformation of the Company. My starting point when I joined LionOre is in many respects similar to where Arc Minerals stands today, and I look forward to working closely with Nick and his team to take the company to the next level.’
Bailey also owns a 1.4pc stake in Arc, making him the company’s second heavyweight backer in as many weeks. Last week, Arc secured a significant investment from Scottish businesswoman Ann Gloag OBE, founder of international transport company Stagecoach Group. Gloag acquired a 3pc stake in Arc worth nearly £500,000 at its current share price. With an estimated net worth of £1bn, Gloag – also a well-known philanthropist- is one of Scotland’s wealthiest business magnates.
Earlier this month, Arc raised £2.5m to help fund its acquisition of a 49pc stake in Zamsort. In a call to investors following the placing, Von Schirnding said drilling at the site would begin ‘very soon’. He added that Arc had been approached by several private equity groups and large mining groups since word got out that it was planning to increase its stake in Zamsort. However, he said the firm is no rush to pursue these:
‘We have had some approaches from potential joint venture partners, but I am not in a hurry to involve them at this stage. We need to do our work and need to get drilling to see what is there. Zamsort is one of the most outstanding copper/cobalt opportunities in Zambia, and what this interest has underscored is that we do have an exciting asset with an excellent opportunity for exploration.