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Walkabout Resources Ltd (ASX:WKT) (FRA:N6D) has appointed two new non-executive directors to its board reflecting the completion of debt and companion equity funding for the construction of the Lindi Jumbo Graphite Mine in Tanzania.

The company believes the appointment of Phil Montgomery and Peter Finnimore as non-executive directors is pivotal to the execution of the next phase of its development, bolstering the depth and breadth of skills.

With the Lindi Jumbo Mine fully funded and only pending final shareholder approval, the company has a pointed focus on transforming and structuring the operating and governance foundations for future production and growth.

New chief operating officer

Allan Mulligan will step down from the board with immediate effect to focus on the delivery of Lindi Jumbo in his new role as chief operating officer.

Walkabout chairman Mike Elliott said: “We are deeply appreciative of the outstanding contribution that Allan has made over the years since the company’s formation.”

Setting up for “exciting future”

Elliott said: “Both Peter and Phil are excellent additions to the Walkabout board, setting the company up for an exciting future as a graphite producer and restoring a balance of majority independent directors as foreshadowed by the company in December 2018.

“Other improvements to corporate governance separate the role of chairman and CEO.

“Going forward, board sub-committees will be entirely comprised of non-executive directors.

“Mr Montgomery will assume chairmanship of the Audit & Risk Committee and Mr Finnimore will assume the chairmanship of the Remuneration & Nominations Committee.”

Montgomery’s expertise

Montgomery has extensive global experience with a strong pedigree in major project delivery.

As an executive at BHP Group Ltd (ASX:BHP) (NYSE:BHP) (LON:BHP) and its predecessor organisations, he was responsible for quadrupling output in the WA Iron Ore Division.

At BHP, Montgomery held the roles of global head of group project management and vice president-projects leading the Jansen Potash Project in Saskatchewan.

He has experience in developing projects in Mozambique, the DRC, South Africa and Colombia, and is well-positioned to oversee the managing of risk and challenges during the construction and commissioning of the Lindi Jumbo Graphite Mine.

Montgomery has a Bachelor of Science (Mechanical Engineering & Business Management) Degree from Oxford Brookes University and is a member of the Institute of Company Directors.

He is currently working as a non-executive director at Salt Lake Potash Ltd (ASX:SOP) (LON:SO4) and Société des Mines de Fer de Guinée.

Elliott said: “Phil will bring to the board his commercial acumen, strategic thinking, project delivery, African and international commercial experience in charting the exciting future for Walkabout as we come into production.”

Finnimore’s experience

Finnimore is a sales and marketing executive with 20 years of experience in the mining and metals sector with majors such as Rio Tinto PLC (LON:RIO), Rusal, BHP Group Ltd and South32 Ltd (ASX:S32) (LON:S32).

Before joining Walkabout, he was working with South32 as a chief marketing officer and chief commercial officer, with a remit including global sales & procurement, logistics, risk management, technical marketing, industry and commodity analysis and product development.

He has spent the majority of his executive career working and living abroad in countries including Japan, Russia, Holland, Singapore, Cyprus and Switzerland.

Finnimore has a Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Laws from the University of Queensland and is a member of the Institute of Company Directors.

He has previously served as a director of both the International Aluminium Institute and the International Nickel Institute.

Elliott said: Peter has extensive global experience in sales and marketing across the resources sector and will make significant contributions in relation to the execution of Walkabout’s strategy and growth.”

New board structure

The new board structure will comprise three independent non-executive directors.

Elliott said: “The appointments of Phil and Peter are the result of our rigorous and structured board renewal process to improve governance, which continuously assesses the attributes, skills, experience, diversity and tenure necessary for the board to govern Walkabout effectively over the long-term.”