Kinross Gold Corp. said on Wednesday it appointed three new directors to its board, adding muscle and experience to its roster as it navigates some of the trickiest waters in the company’s 20-year history.
The new appointees, to be nominated for election by shareholders at the annual general meeting next month, are John Macken, former president of Ivanhoe Mines,Una Power , the chief financial officer and senior vice president of corporate planning and business development at oil and gas company Nexen and Ruth Woods, chief operating officer at Osler, Hoskin and Harcourt LLP, one of Canada’s leading business law firms.
“These appointments significantly enhance our Board expertise in key areas including mining operations, project development, finance, human resources and compensation,” said board chairman John Oliver.
The new appointments come after a tumultuous year for Kinross, when Canada’s No. 3 gold producer and one of the world’s largest miners replaced its chief executive and wrote off most of the value of an acquisition that had meant to be a company game changer.
The bad news started in January of last year, when it announced long delays and a $2.49-billion (U.S.) writedown on the Tasiast gold mine in Mauritania that it acquired with the $7.1-billion acquisition of Red Back Mining in 2010.
Stung by soaring capital and operating costs that have hit the entire mining industry, Kinross took a further, $3.206-billion impairment charge on 2012 earnings, most of it attributable to the Tasiast project.
The appointments announced this week will bring the board count to 12. They follow the sudden ouster of former chief executive officer Tye Burt in August last year under a cloud of investor discontent.
Upon taking the company helm, Mr. Burt’s successor J. Paul Rollinson embarked on a cost-cutting campaign that slashed hundreds of millions of dollars from capital spending in 2012. He said earlier this year to expect a similar effort in 2013.
Toronto-based Kinross has mines and projects in Canada, the United States, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Ghana, Mauritania and Russia.