Mark Farren (centre), winning a Nedbank Capital Green Mining Award in 2007 (Amplats photo)

Mark Farren (centre), winning a Nedbank Capital Green Mining Award in 2007 (Amplats photo)

The junior miner with the best bench strength already has a new head of operations.

Robert Friedland’s Ivanhoe Mines Ltd. has appointed senior South African mining executive Mark Farren, 48, as the company’s executive vice-president of operations.

Mr. Farren takes charge of the engineering and development activities now underway at Ivanhoe’s three principal projects in Sub Saharan Africa effective June 15, 2014.

The company’s Executive Chairman, Mr. Friedland, commented that Mr. Farren joins the company at a “pivotal” time.

“His 25 years of experience in building and managing mines in some of the world’s major mineral fields dovetail admirably with our present and future requirements to support our company-building mission.”

Mr. Farren previously spent 22 years with Amplats, the world’s largest platinum miner, culminating in his appointment to the group’s Head of Mining in 2009. There he oversaw operations and implemented production enhancements at a number of Amplat’s mines, today’s news release said.

Mr. Farren is coming off developing, commissioning and operating the expanded Tharisa Mine on the Western Limb of South Africa’s Bushveld Complex, one of the world’s largest chrome concentrate mines with significant quantities of platinum group metals. He has been Managing Director and CEO of Tharisa Minerals, a 74% owned subsidiary of Cypress-based Tharisa PLC, whose shares began trading on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange last month, since 2010.

We met Mr. Farren in early February, 2014 during our site visit to Ivanhoe’s Platreef project.

Robert Friedland stopped the plane we were travelling on in Johannesburg to pick up Mr. Farren, a soft spoken but matter of fact South African.

Mr. Friedland gave Mr. Farren a private technical tour of the Platreef project the following day.

At dinner that evening I listened to Mr. Farren describe the process for building and operating mines within South African frameworks and I was very impressed with him.

After seeing the Platreef project first hand, Mr. Farren commented to me, “Platreef is the best platinum ore body ever discovered.”

I am therefore not surprised to see him join the company, and as a shareholder I am pleased. Always do your own due diligence.

News release: Senior South African Mining Executive Mark Farren to Join Ivanhoe Mines as Head of Operations

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