Errol Smart, CEO Orion Minerals at the JSE after the Australia's Orion Minerals JSE listing confirmed. 867 Picture: Matthews Baloyi 18/09/2017
Errol Smart, CEO Orion Minerals at the JSE after the Australia's Orion Minerals JSE listing confirmed. 867 Picture: Matthews Baloyi 18/09/2017

Orion Minerals bosses set for salary increase

By Dineo Faku Time of article published Sep 6, 2020

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Dineo Faku

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JOHANNESBURG - Orion Minerals this week approved a pay hike for its managing director and chief executive Errol Smart, following last month’s strongly supported share placement to bring the R5.4 billion Prieska Copper-Zinc Mine in the Northern Cape into production.

The JSE-and Australian-listed diversified metals explorer and developer said its board approved an increase in Smart’s cash remuneration from $300 000 (R4.9 million) a year to $322 000 a year.

“Following the successful capital raising, which was announced to the Australian Stock Exchange on 7 August 2020, and the positive progress made on the Prieska Copper-Zinc Project, including the grant of the water use licence, the board has approved the reinstatement of executives’ remuneration and director fees from the reduced amounts announced on 29 April 2020. Such reinstatement is effective from 1 September 2020,” said the company.

Smart took a pay cut in April, from $300 000 per annum to $257 600, as part of the implementation of cost-savings and asset-preservation initiatives across its business due to the economic impact of Covid-19.

At the time, the group’s nonexecutive directors agreed to reduce director fees to zero, while executives agreed to have the cash component of their fee packages cut by 20 percent.

The company slashed the number of its employees and contractors and undertook a range of prudent initiatives to cut costs to mitigate against the impact of Covid-19 and the uncertainty in financial markets. Last month, in a positive development, Orion raised A$6.2m (R74.6m) in a share placement to advance the Prieska project after receiving strong support from its investors.

In addition to a key water licence, the group was granted the final mining right to bring the project into production, removing the last regulatory hurdle to allow project construction. Smart said Prieska was positioned to play a major role in the postCovid-19 economic recovery of the Northern Cape, with the development of a world-class base metals mining operation.

“The achievement of this major milestone is a testament to the exceptional geological potential and attractive business operating environment that we have found and made our home in the Northern Cape.

“In less than five years we have been able to locate, acquire, drill out, complete a high-quality Bankable Feasibility Study and fully permit a world-class modern mine, to international best practice standards,” said Smart.

The Prieska mine was mined between the 1970s and 1990s, and is one of the world’s top-30 volcanogenic massive sulphide base metal deposits.


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