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Australian Zircon Strengthens Board & Management

Monday, May 18th, 2009

High grade zircon producer Australian Zircon has further strengthened its Board and Management team with two key appointments as it continues to expand production at its Mindarie mineral sands project in South Australia.
The Company is pleased to announce the appointment of experienced finance executive Giga Bedineishvili to the Board as a non-executive director, effective immediately.
Mr Bedineishvili is Director of Business Development for global commodity leader, and Australian Zircon major shareholder, DCM Decometal. He has strong business and global finance background, having previously worked with US bank Salomon Brothers, Salford Capital Partners and as Chief Economic Advisor to the President of Georgia.
DCM is a global commodity manager with a 2008 turnover of more thanUS$1 billion. It has interests in manganese, chromite, mineral sands and iron ore projects, and provides trade finance and logistics.
Australian Zircon Managing Director, Johann van Zyl, said Mr Bedineishvili’s appointment would add further depth in global finance and commodity management to the Board.
“With a first rate investment banking background and a strong understanding of global commodity markets through DCM, Giga’s experience will be a great complement to the existing Board and play a valuable role in the Company’s continued development,” he said.
As part of its production ramp up at Mindarie, 150km east of Adelaide, Australian Zircon has also boosted its on-ground expertise with the appointment of General Manager of Operations Richard Fagan.
Mr Fagan has 30 years experience in the resources industry – with more than 20 years specialising in mineral sands. He has a strong metallurgical engineering background, and has worked with leading mineral sands equipment suppliers and consultants Downer MT and Roche Mining MT, in Australia, Africa, Europe and Asia.
“Richard is a mineral sands specialist, with extensive expertise in the development, design and optimisation of mineral sands plant and processing systems. This will be of immediate value to Australian Zircon, as it really starts to hit its straps at the Mindarie project,” Mr van Zyl said.
Australian Zircon has been steadily increasing production at Mindarie, with its expansion program now 80% complete toward its targeted annualised production rate of 35,000tpa by June 2009.
“We have improved efficiency and reliability of our processing system through new plant and equipment, and our ramp-up program remains on schedule. Our expanding production means we are increasingly capitalising on the strong global market for zircon, and the outlook continues to remain bullish driven by strong demand from China, and global supply constraints,” Mr van Zyl said.
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