Toro Energy - Changes to the Board
The composition of the Toro Energy Board has undergone two notable changes as recently announced by the company. Firstly, Dr Erica Smyth the current Chairman and Non-Executive Director is stepping down from both roles after a nine year interval. Dr Smyth is a geologist by training and arguably paved the way for many women in the traditionally male-dominated world of mining. In 2010, she received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the WA Chamber of Minerals and Energy. It is therefore somewhat fitting that she is handing over the Chairmanship to another woman.
Fiona Harris will assume the position of Chairman and Non-Executive Director from March 16th, 2015. Ms Harris has extensive corporate governance and strategic financial experience. She has performed the duties of Non-Executive Director for over 20 years across various industries following her position as a partner with KPMG in their Sydney office. Most recently, she has been involved or continues to be involved, with a number of energy-related businesses – Infigen Energy, a specialist renewable energy business; Oil Search Limited, a listed oil and gas company; Sundance Resources, a listed international iron-ore company; and Aurora Oily & Gas, a previously listed oil and gas company which was successfully sold and de-listed.
Ms Harris’ experience is not just in energy related companies, but also in providing guidance to companies transitioning from development into production and those undertaking major financial corporate activity (mergers, acquisitions, capital raising) globally. Ms Harris’ experience certainly adds to Toro Energy’s management skill set particularly in strategic financial decision making.
Toro Energy will likely undertake major corporate activity themselves over the next period – securing an off-take partner and financing for the Wiluna project, managing their balance sheet assets and strategic relations with Strateco Resources and SeqUR and importantly, continuing to build their relationship with Areva following the recent JV.
Ms Harris would seem a good choice as Chairman and a very positive addition to the Toro Energy Board.
The second change to the Toro Energy Board includes the resignation of Non-Executive Director, Mr Greg Hall. Mr Hall was Toro Energy’s founding Managing Director and is current Managing Director of Hillgrove Resources. His resignation is part of a conscious strategy by Toro Energy to reduce the size of the Board. In line with this strategy, Toro Energy’s shareholder, Mega Uranium will retire one of its two nominee Directors.
These steps taken by Toro Energy should be welcomed by shareholders as it prepares itself for the next phase of its corporate development in the move from exploration to development and ultimately production.