Ivanhoe Australia Names Ian Plimer Interim Chairman
04/18/2012| 08:50pm US/Eastern
Ivanhoe Australia Ltd. (>> Ivanhoe Australia Limited) said Thursday that independent director Ian Plimer has been appointed interim chairman following the resignation of Robert Friedland from the boards of the Australian company and its majority owner, Ivanhoe Mines Ltd. (IVN).
Plimer, a professor of mining geology at the University Of Adelaide and emeritus professor of earth sciences at the University of Melbourne, joined Ivanhoe Australia's board in 2007. He has published six books and 130 scientific papers, and edited the Academic Press Encyclopaedia of Geology.
Ivanhoe Mines said overnight that Friedland, the company's founder and chief executive as well as chairman of Ivanhoe Australia, had stepped down as part of an agreement that ensures majority shareholder Rio Tinto PLC's (RIO) financial support for the Oyu Tolgoi Mongolian copper project.
Ivanhoe Australia said independent director Sam Riggall, who resigned as vice president of Ivanhoe Mines, also resigned.
Ivanhoe Australia is developing a range of projects in north western Queensland state, and is seeking a strategic partner to assist in funding.
"We will continue to work constructively with the board and management of Ivanhoe Australia in order to maximize value for all shareholders," Kay Priestly, the newly appointed interim CEO of Ivanhoe Mines and chief financial officer of Rio Tinto's copper group, said in a statement released to the Australian securities exchange.
Ivanhoe Australia is 59%-owned by Ivanhoe Mines, which in turn is 51% controlled by Rio Tinto.
-By Robb M. Stewart, Dow Jones Newswires; +61 3 9292 2094; email@example.com