British firm named as main Fingerboards mine investor

A BRITISH private equity firm has been named as the major investor in the company behind the proposed Fingerboards minerals sands mine in Glenaladale.

Kalbar Operations welcomed the announcement from Appian Capital Advisory that it planned to invest $144 million into the development and construction of the mine, if the project is approved.

Appian invests solely in mining and mining-related companies.

Kalbar chief executive Jozsef Patarica said the commitment by Appian and its track record of investment in sustainable mining projects around the world demonstrated the significance and value of the Fingerboards project to east Gippsland.

“In the current environment, following drought, bushfires and COVID-19, Appian’s commitment to our project and the community is very welcome as it will provide jobs and economic development in east Gippsland,” he said.

The announcement comes as Kalbar approaches a milestone for the Fingerboards project, having hosted a live webinar last week, in the lead up to the state government announcing a date for public exhibition of the environment effects statement to begin.

Meanwhile, two new members have been appointed to Kalbar’s executive team.

Cameron Knox will join Kalbar as chief financial officer this month, bringing more than 15 years of experience in senior finance roles, predominately in the mining and resources sector with global mining and resources projects.

Mr Knox brings to Kalbar a broad skill set and experience in compliance and corporate governance.

He has extensive experience working with projects at different stages in their life cycles from feasibility and early-stage construction to fully operational mines.

John Francisco joined Kalbar as project director on June 1.

Mr Francisco has more than 30 years of experience in the mining industry, having held project, operational and maintenance management roles with a number of gold and mineral sands mining operations across Australia, west and central Africa and Papua New Guinea. He has a strong track record in early stage start-up of mining projects.

“We are delighted to have Cameron and John joining our team at this important time as we focus on the final stages of the EE S process,” Mr Patarica said.

“Both Cameron and John’s depth of industry experience will be invaluable to Kalbar as we advance the Fingerboards Project.

“We are proud to be building a strong and capable team to deliver a new industry in the east Gippsland region and creating new jobs and business opportunities for the community to prosper and grow.”