Fortescue trio exit over troubled project
Three high-ranking officials at Fortescue Metals have resigned over failings in the miner's troubled Iron Bridge magnetite iron ore project.
Chief operating officer Greg Lilleyman, director projects Don Hyma and director Iron Bridge Manie McDonald all resigned, the company said on Tuesday.
Mr Lilleyman's resignation was effective immediately.
The trio all had oversight of the project in Western Australia, which is being reviewed by management after higher than expected costs.
Yet chief executive Elizabeth Gaines told media the announcement did not reflect future project costs.
She said staff had to meet targets.
Ms Gaines had been concerned by the project management culture, and said there was some breakdown in communication.
The company said the general manager of its Solomon mine in the same state, Derek Brown, would be acting director projects.
Ms Gaines and chief financial officer Ian Wells will forego incentive payments this financial year.
The company is due to report first-half earnings on Thursday and Ms Gaines says an update on the Iron Bridge project will be provided.
Shares slumped following the news, and closed lower by 2.99 per cent to $23.70.
Bell Direct market analyst Jessica Amir did not expect the changes to do long-term damage to the company.
"Fortescue is a pretty resilient business," she said.
"I think investors look past board scuffles like that and focus on underlying returns."
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