Lucapa appoints ex-De Beers head as non-executive chairman

LUCAPA Diamond Co. said it had appointed ex-De Beers head Stuart Brown as its non-executive chairman. He replaces Mikes Kennedy in the role.

In addition to De Beers, Brown was previously CEO of Firestone Diamonds which operated the Liqhobong operation in Lesotho before the mine was closed. He is currently a non-executive director of both London-listed Ukrainian iron-ore miner Ferrexpo and Digby Wells Environmental Holdings, a provider of ESG consulting services to the mining industry.

Lucapa also said it had appointed Ronnie Beevor to the board as a non-executive director. Beevor was previously head of investment banking of Rothschild Australia and has served on the boards of mining companies in Australia and internationally. He recently retired as chairman of ASX listed, Bannerman Energy.

The non-executive appointments add to major changes to Lucapa’s management in the last 12 months. In July, Stephen Wetherall announced his resignation as CEO, a post he held since 2014. He was replaced by Nick Selby, the company’s former COO.

“We are delighted to welcome Stuart and Ronnie to our board, they will both add valuable strategic, financial and governance experience from their various board and committee roles at numerous successful mining companies,” said Kennedy. “In addition, Stuart and Ronnie will be instrumental in helping to achieve Lucapa’s goals.”

In November, Lucapa announced it would postpone its Merlin feasibility study owing to a decline in diamond prices, saying that it was weighing low cost alternatives.

The project, acquired in 2021 for A$8.6m, was forecast to produce about 2.1 million carats over a 14 year life of mine, according to a 2022 scoping study. Pre-production process and infrastructural capital of A$69m was estimated.