Lynas Ltd. (LYC), the Australian company developing the world’s largest rare earths refinery in Malaysia, named Eric Noyrez, president and chief operating officer, to succeed Nicholas Curtis as chief executive officer.
Noyrez will become CEO and join the company’s board as of March 31, the Sydney-based company said today in a statement. Curtis will remain as non-executive chairman. Lynas also promoted Director Liam Forde as deputy chairman of the company.
The appointments came as Lynas began production last week at its 11,000 metric ton-capacity first-phase refinery in Malaysia after delays due to protests and legal challenges on concern over radiation risks. Lynas said today it’s on schedule to commission the second phase in the second quarter that would take its total annual capacity to 22,000 tons.
“Achieving our first rare earths production last week is a significant transformational milestone and a fitting time for us to allow Eric to take over all executive responsibility,” Curtis said in the statement. “Eric has a detailed knowledge of the international rare earths and chemical industries, and has led the operational implementation of the Lynas Rare Earths project.”
Noyrez was appointed chief operating officer in February 2010 and given additional responsibility as president in March 2011. Before joining Lynas, Noyrez was president of French chemical group Rhodia SA’s Silcea unit that is a global supplier of products utilizing rare earths and rare earths technologies.
Lynas rose 1.7 percent to 60 cents in Sydney at 10:32 a.m. local time. The stock is up 4.4 percent this year, underperforming a 9.1 percent gain in the S&P/ASX 200 Index.
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