Another mining company chief executive has stepped down, with David Woodall of Australian Strategic Materials advising the Board of his intention to leave the company immediately.

In accepting Woodall’s decision, ASM chair Ian Gandel thanked him for his contribution, particularly for laying the foundations for the company to take advantage of the global demand for critical metals.

During Woodall’s tenure, ASM has delivered a strong optimisation study for the Dubbo Project, acquired innovative metallisation technology, constructed its first metals plant in South Korea, and signed an engineering, procurement and construction definition contract with Hyundai Engineering.

Woodall will be replaced by ASM Chief Operating Officer Rowena Smith, a highly experienced global mining executive. In her first year with ASM, Smith led the Dubbo Project team, which included work for the optimisation study released in December 2021.

She also led the construction and commissioning of the Korean metals plant.

Smith has almost 30 years of global mining experience in various senior roles at companies such as South32, Rio Tinto and BHP for Nickel West.

Ms Smith’s skills and experience in global operations and major projects, along with her achievements at ASM will enable her to lead the Company through its next phase.

“Rowena has demonstrated that she is a highly capable leader, underpinned by her extensive experience and track record in the mining sector,” Gandel said.

“With this appointment, the Board has confidence there will be a seamless leadership transition, enabling ASM to continue to focus on delivering its mine-to-metals strategy.”

ASM is a vertically integrated materials business and emerging “mine to metals” producer of critical metals. The company’s cornerstone Dubbo Project is a potential long-term resource of rare earths, zirconium, niobium, and hafnium located in 3 central-western NSW.

ASM’s metals business is founded on an innovative metallisation process that converts oxides into high-purity metals, alloys, and powders using less energy than conventional methods.

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