Solid Energy appoints new CEO

Solid Energy has appointed Australian mining executive Dan Clifford as chief executive officer.

He would take up the position in early May, said stakeholder relations manager Vicki Blyth.

Mr Clifford currently worked for Glencore as general manager of the Ulan Complex that incorporated an opencast and two underground mines in New South Wales, Ms Blyth said.

He began working in the mining industry more than 20 years ago in Australia. His career had taken him to coal mines across Queensland, New South Wales and South Africa.

He had worked for Anglo Coal and BHP Billiton in technical, operations and regional management roles.

Mr Clifford had a degree in mining engineering, a first class certificate of competency for underground coal mines, was a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and had served in various directorship roles within Glencore's assets.

Solid Energy acting chair, Pip Dunphy, said the board was very pleased to have secured the appointment of an industry executive with extensive opencast and underground experience, to lead the company.

"Dan has successfully restructured mining operations to be more efficient and economic and leaves behind, at Ulan, a significantly improved health and safety performance across that operation which produces 11 million tonnes of coal a year, with a workforce of about 900 people."

Ms Dunphy said the Solid Energy board acknowledged the leadership and commitment of Garry Diack who had been interim chief executive since February 2013.

"Garry has led the company through a very difficult period of change over the last year."

She said Mr Diack had worked effectively with board and his management team in refocusing the business on its core coal mining and marketing capabilities and restructuring the company to give it the best possible chance of returning to profitability.

"Under Garry's leadership, the company has made very good progress in responding to the fall in international coal prices, reducing costs and focusing on cash generation," said Ms Dunphy.

Mr Diack will finish work with Solid Energy about the same time Mr Clifford arrives.

- Westport News

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