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Our People

People

Richard Tacon

Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer

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Richard’s first job in the industry was at Greymouth’s Liverpool State Mine. He moved to Australia to further his mining career and went on to hold several management roles in coal mines around the country, working his way from undermanager to General Manager. Richard has held senior leadership roles in the coal sector for the past decade.

After living and working in Australia for 32 years, Richard returned to New Zealand to take up the position of Chief Operating Officer in 2012. He was appointed to the role of Chief Executive Officer in March 2015.

He has also spent 15 years on a rescue crew, making him familiar with the principles and practice of mine safety. Richard is the chair of the Coal Association of New Zealand and sits on the board of the New Zealand Mines Rescue Trust and Straterra as well as other industry stakeholder organisations.

Richard is a director of BT Mining Limited as a Bathurst Resources representative.

Russell Middleton

Executive Director & Interim Chief Financial Officer

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Russell has over 25 years in the mining and construction sector with significant experience in mine project evaluations and the construction of new mines. Based in Sydney, Russell was most recently Chief Financial Officer with Hillgrove Resources Limited, an ASX listed resources company focused on developing base and precious metals projects. Starting his career as a public accountant, Russell has held senior management positions in accounting, commercial and planning roles. He undertook various roles with BHP before joining Shell where he was Commercial Manager for the construction, development and production of a major underground mine.

Russell is a director of BT Mining Limited as a Bathurst Resources representative.

Alison Brown

General Counsel

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Alison has more than 35 years’ legal experience in private law practices and as in-house counsel for commercial enterprises.

She has specialised in mining, environmental and climate change law and has worked for Simpson Grierson, Minter Ellison Rudd Watts and the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, has taught law professionals.

Alison was general counsel for Solid Energy from 2000 to 2011 and holds a Master of Laws with Honours.

Fiona Bartier

General Manager, Health, Safety, Environment and Community

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Fiona Bartier is an environmental and resource scientist who has worked in management roles for government, in research and education, for industry groups, and for a range of mining companies.

Fiona spent seven years working in mining environmental research at The University of Queensland and The University of New England where she visited and worked at over 40 mine sites across a range of commodities. She then spent a period of time working for the Minerals Council of Australia.

Before joining Bathurst, Fiona lived for ten years in mining communities in the Hunter Valley and western coalfields of New South Wales, working first as a consultant, and then within industry. She has management experience in open cut and underground operations, and brownfield and greenfield projects. Since 2014, Fiona has held the responsibility to manage the company’s response to the New Zealand’s significant health and safety reforms.

Fiona holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Science (Resource Science). She joined Bathurst in 2012 and is based in the Wellington office.

Martin Doull

General Manager, Export Operations

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Martin is a mining engineer with over 25 years’ experience in a variety of countries, commodities and industries, each with differing degrees of complexity. In resources, Martin has had roles in mid-tier and blue chip companies ranging from working in operations as a professional mining engineer, driving and implementing commercial, cost and productivity improvements, to the implementation of strategic business plans for growth, acquisition and/or divestment.

More recently, Martin has been Project Manager/Director with the overall responsibility for the development of several large scale mine projects from optimisation of the project during the study phase, to meeting schedule, safety and cost targets during construction and commissioning.

Sam Johnstone

General Manager, Export Marketing and Logistics

Sam brings a wealth of experience in marketing New Zealand’s unique coal internationally to Japan, India, China, South East Asia, US, Europe and other specialist markets.

Prior to joining BT Mining, Sam spent over ten years with the Solid Energy New Zealand Limited marketing team, initially within the domestic markets and then transitioned into export marketing in 2009. In 2013, Sam was appointed General Manager – Marketing and Logistics, managing the domestic and export markets through a period of consolidation, mine and market optimisation and the sale of Solid Energy assets.

Sam holds a Postgraduate Masters in Science, majoring in Geography from Canterbury University.

Sam is based in the Christchurch office and leads the Export Marketing and Logistics Team.

Craig Palmer

General Manager, Commercial operations

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Craig is an experienced commercial and corporate finance practitioner, having worked in industry and in consulting.

Craig has joined BT Mining from Solid Energy, where he held a variety of roles over 12 years. This has included managing the sales of company assets (land and business units), being part of the team negotiating the Deed of Company Arrangement (DOCA), being Acting CEO of Nature’s Flame (the Solid Energy pellet business), commercial manager/corporate finance roles and ETS management.

Prior to his employment at Solid Energy, Craig has worked in the energy and telecommunications industries and professional consulting as a Corporate Finance practitioner, in New Zealand and Europe.

Craig has a Master of Commerce and is a holder of the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation.

Craig Pilcher

General Manager, Domestic Marketing

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Craig has extensive engineering experience with both coal and oil-fired steam boiler installations and maintenance, as well as refrigeration, marine, plant maintenance and general engineering.

Born in South Canterbury, Craig’s first career was as an A-grade fitter and welder, undertaking regular coal and oil steam boiler installations. After working as plant engineer and construction diver at the Port of Timaru, Craig became owner and director of a South Island coal supply business in 1997, distributing coal for the state owned coal company in the area.

The business was bought by Eastern Corporation in 2006, and Craig joined the company as marketing manager. When Bathurst Resources bought the Eastern Corporation assets in 2011, Craig became the General Manager Domestic Operations, playing a key role in the establishment and growth of the Takitimu, Cascade and Canterbury coal mines.

With the acquisition of three mines from Solid Energy New Zealand Limited in August 2017, Craig was presented the opportunity to concentrate on domestic marketing and business development. Craig is a director of BT Mining Limited as a Bathurst Resources representative.

Craig is based in Timaru at Bathurst’s coal handling and distribution centre and manages the domestic marketing team.

Damian Spring

General Manager, Domestic Operations

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Damian is a Mining Engineer with over 25 years in underground and open pit mines, mining coal, gold, polymetallics and nickel in New Zealand, Australia, Mexico and Argentina.

Until recently Damian operated a mining consultancy serving clients in Australasia and the Americas, including Bathurst and a recent role as Chief Operating Officer for a junior Australian producer. Prior to that Damian has held roles as Chief Mining Engineer for a world class silver-lead deposit in Argentina, Underground Manager with WMC Resources and Senior Mining Engineer with Solid Energy.

Damian holds a degree in mine engineering from the University of Auckland and is a Chartered Professional Mining Engineer of the Australian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy.

 


Board of Directors

Toko Kapea

Non-Executive Chairman

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Toko is a Wellington based commercial lawyer, consultant and director at Tuia Group Limited. He has worked at Chapman Tripp and in legal roles in-house at Meridian Energy, Bank of New Zealand, St. George Bank NZ and ANZ.

He currently sits on the board of Ngāti Apa Developments Limited (Whanghanui-Rangitikei region). Toko is an independent committee member of the Banjima Direct Benefits Trust in Perth, Western Australia.

Toko was on the Government Review Panel relating to the Te Ture Whenua Māori Act 1993 (Māori Land Act) and was also the lead negotiator for Ngāti Apa ki Rangitikei (North Island) for its direct negotiation Treaty of Waitangi claims with the Crown.

Richard Tacon

Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer

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Richard has worked in almost every role in the coal mining since starting his career in the 1970s.

After studying at the Otago School of Mines in New Zealand, Richard’s first job was at a government owned mine in Greymouth. He moved to Australia to further his career, working his way from undermanager to General Manager. Richard has held senior leadership roles in the coal sector for the past decade.

Richard returned to New Zealand to the position of Chief Operating Officer with Bathurst in 2012. He was appointed Chief Executive Officer in March 2015.

Richard holds first, second and third class coal mining qualifications. He has spent 15 years on a rescue crew, making him familiar with the principles and practice of mine safety. He is an ex secretary of the Australian Mine Managers Association and sits on the board of the New Zealand Mines Rescue Trust.

Richard is a director of BT Mining Limited as a Bathurst Resources representative.

Russell Middleton

Executive Director & Interim Chief Financial Offic

russell middleton

Russell has over 25 years in the mining and construction sector with significant experience in mine project evaluations and the construction of new mines. Based in Sydney, Russell was most recently Chief Financial Officer with Hillgrove Resources Limited, an ASX listed resources company focused on developing base and precious metals projects. Starting his career as a public accountant, Russell has held senior management positions in accounting, commercial and planning roles. He undertook various roles with BHP before joining Shell where he was Commercial Manager for the construction, development and production of a major underground mine.

Russell is a director of BT Mining Limited as a Bathurst Resources representative.

Peter Westerhuis

Non–Executive Director

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Peter is a professional engineer with post-graduate business qualifications and more than 30 years of Australian and international resources experience in the iron ore, gold and coal industries; the last ten years at CEO and MD level. He has successfully developed and managed large mining and processing operations including overseeing the transition from explorer to producer.

Peter has undertaken many complex commercial negotiations for joint ventures, capital funding, contracts, litigation, product marketing and off-take agreements. He is particularly passionate about health and safety, teamwork, operational effectiveness, business improvement and project delivery. Peter is the CEO of Batchfire Resources Pty Ltd, owner of the Callide Mine in Central Queensland. Previously he worked for 11 years at the Ensham Joint Venture, including four years as CEO, developing and operating large open cut and underground coal reserves in Queensland.

Bill Lyne

Company Secretary

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Mr Lyne has a wealth of experience in the role of company secretary of public companies ranging from stock exchange listed to small private companies and “not-for-profit” entities.

He has operated his own business, Australian Company Secretary Service, since 1998, providing professional specialist company secretarial, corporate compliance, governance and administrative services to various different clients in diverse businesses across a wide range of industries. He is currently company secretary of 4 other ASX-listed companies including Jumbo Interactive Limited of which he is also a director.

Mr Lyne holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Economics from the University of NSW, is a Chartered Accountant, and a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries & Administrators (UK) and Governance Institute of Australia.

Mr Lyne was appointed company secretary in May 2015.