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AVZ Minerals appoints new technical director

AVZ Minerals has appointed Graeme Johnston as technical director. Johnston is a geologist with over 30 years’ experience operating Australia, the Middle East, Romania, Malaysia and recently the DRC.

Qualifying with a BSc in Geology from Glasgow University and an MSc in Structural Geology from the Royal School of Mines, London, he emigrated to Western Australia in 1986 and worked on various gold projects before joining Rio Tinto at their Tom Price iron mine as the Site Geotechnical Engineer.

Following this, Johnston was part of the Rio Tino mine development team that opened up the Yandicoogina, fines iron ore mine before leaving Rio Tinto after five years’ service, to diversify his experience.

Working mainly in orebody development and near mine-site investigations, Johnston’s technical experience is focused on the transition between orebody delineation and mine opening.

In this regard he has worked on over five projects that resulted in new mines being commissioned.

In addition Johnston was the Principal Geologist with Midwest Corporation in 2005 during its sale to Sinosteel Corporation for US$1.4 billion and was their first local chief geologist.

In mid-2006, he assisted in founding ASX-listed Ferrowest, where he was the technical director for 9 years until the end of 2016.

During this time, he contributed to the successful completion of the Feasibility Study for the Yalgoo pig Iron project east of Geraldton.

Graeme joined the AVZ Minerals team in May 2017 as project manager in charge of the day to day operations at the Manono lithium project, managing four drill rigs and a team of up to 75 personnel.

“We are very pleased to have appointed Jonston to the board of AVZ Minerlas as his wealth of experience in mine site development will play a key role in the development of the Manono lithium project,” notes AVZ Minerals MD Nigel Ferguson.

“He has been instrumental since joining the company and played a pivotal role in delivering AVZ Minerals’ maiden Mineral Resource Estimate which is anticipated to be completed by end of July 2018,” he continues.