Mick Davis

Mick Davis

Niron Metals

Mick Davis, it seems, has only ever commanded big headlines. Even when not in the mining industry limelight, he was occupying the attention of newswriters owing to his involvement in raising Holocaust awareness, for which he was knighted, or for his activities as chairman of the UK’s Conservative Party. He is, however, back in mining as co-founder of Niron Metals, a vehicle for industrial metals exploration and development. Davis is joined in this entity by Varda Shine who was previously head of sales for De Beers and Marcos Camhis, founder and CEO of Switzerland-based Fos Asset Management. Davis has not yet committed to any particular fund target or whether the investment vehicle might be listed, but he’ll be hoping it has more success than X2 Resources, a private fund he had no option but to shut in 2017 after its backers – which had amassed a warchest of $5bn – failed to agree on investment targets. Davis is one of three well-known executives seeking to capitalise on growing demand for industrial metals – the other two are Erik Prince (page 87) and Brian Menell (page 70) – which has been driven by the growing electric vehicle consumption and the reticence of mining companies to build new supply given the debt hole into which many were plunged following the ten year-long supercycle.

“Davis is one of three well-known executives seeking to capitalise on growing demand for industrial metals.”

LIFE OF MICK

It’s a well-documented story of how Mick, educated at Rhodes University, went on to become CFO of Eskom before joining Brian Gilbertson at Billiton. The two listed Billiton in the UK, merged it with BHP before both left, Davis establishing Xstrata which sought a merger with Anglo American before becoming a merger target itself when Glencore came knocking. Davis was knighted in 2015. He lives in London.