Media Release: Roy Hill CEO Barry Fitzgerald becomes Hancock Prospecting executive appointed to the Roy Hill and Hope Downs Boards Roy Hill COO Gerhard Veldsman to be promoted to Roy Hill CEO

Media Release

10 March 2021

Roy Hill CEO Barry Fitzgerald becomes Hancock Prospecting

executive appointed to the Roy Hill and Hope Downs Boards 

Roy Hill COO Gerhard Veldsman to be promoted to Roy Hill CEO 

Roy Hill announced today that Barry Fitzgerald, Roy Hill’s current Chief Executive Officer, will be appointed to the Roy Hill Board for majority owner, Hancock Prospecting (HPPL) and Gerhard Veldsman, Roy Hill’s Chief Operating Officer, will be appointed as Chief Executive Officer at Roy Hill. In addition, Barry will be appointed to the Hope Downs Board to further represent HPPL. 

These Executive changes will occur on 1 July 2021 and will support strategic growth plans across HPPL’s diversified portfolio of world class mining assets. There will be a three-month transition period from 31 March 2021 in the lead up to the handover date. 

On the appointments, Roy Hill Executive Chairman Mrs Gina Rinehart said, 

“On behalf of the Roy Hill Board and our terrific team of people I would like to thank Barry Fitzgerald for his remarkable contribution to our mega project. Roy Hill had a successful pre-feasibility study, a close to completion bankable feasibility study and other than a smaller attractive camp, with office, workshop and sample storage shed, had no infrastructure when Barry came on board in 2010 and successfully helped to lead the project from final planning to construction and operation. Roy Hill achieved some important firsts, including with our terrific team, the fastest ever ramp up to 55mtpa in the Pilbara.” 

“Barry has helped build over 10 years’ loyal and dedicated service, what we believe is the best mining company to work in, in Australia. Roy Hill has won multiple Australian and global Awards for its achievements. We are very pleased for Gerhard to now take us forward where we will continue to improve our technology and efficiencies and contribute to the State and Country through the provision of more mines after approvals, investment, jobs, royalties, taxes, opportunities and further contribution to communities and worthwhile causes.” 

“We are very pleased to retain Barry’s extensive industry and company knowledge as he moves across to Hancock Prospecting where he will represent the company on the Roy Hill and Hope Downs Boards and also take responsibility for a range of major development projects using his considerable experience in the iron ore industry to drive growth and future value for the group.” 

“We are confident that in Gerhard, recent winner of the CEO Magazine Chief Operating Officer of the Year Award, we have a strong leader who not only has a good understanding of our business and people as our current Chief Operating Officer, but also is keen to drive operational excellence; both key to our Roy Hill vision and culture.” 

Mr Fitzgerald said, “I congratulate and wish Gerhard well on his appointment and am looking forward to working with him closely on the transition in the short term and in the longer term as a Board Director. Roy Hill was a truly unique and once-in-a-career project to work on. I have been humbled to be part of this mega project which really is the ultimate result of our Executive Chairman’s vision and sheer determination to see the tenements she acquired transform after much risk and work into the operation it is today. That determination was essential when all those around her at the time, advised not to undertake the Roy Hill tenements that a very experienced competitor had dropped.” Media Release Page 2 of 3 10 March 2021 

“It has been the shared experiences with the Roy Hill community and what we have collectively accomplished together that have made my time at Roy Hill so special. Together we have achieved some truly remarkable things. Thank you to the Roy Hill Board, my Executive Leadership team, all our staff along with our stakeholders and customers for your support over the last 10 years.” 

Mr Veldsman said, “Thank you to both our Executive Chairman Mrs Rinehart and Barry Fitzgerald for their support in my appointment. It will be a privilege to lead such a diverse, talented and hardworking team of people. I’m excited in Roy Hill’s bold vision for the next ten years building on our reputation as a leading innovator to optimise and grow our operations and contribute to Roy Hill’s operational excellence.” 

“The mining industry is vital for the country’s economy and increasingly due to our success we are able to invest in and play a key role driving the research to improve technology and business practices that will ensure not just mining but other businesses remain sustainable. This is an exciting time of mining industry driven innovation.” 

To support these changes, experienced industry leader Anthony Kirke, who is currently head of Roy Hill’s Autonomous Haulage System Project (AHS) will move in to the Chief Operating Officer role at Roy Hill. 

With Anthony’s promotion into the COO role Roy Hill is also pleased to announce his replacement. Diederik Lugtigheid who will join the company In June as Project Director AHS. This appointment will further increase our automation knowledge and experience. Diederek departs his role as Vice President, Product Support and AHS Support Centre for Komatsu and will be moving to Perth from Chile with his family. 


Media Contact: 

Katherine Savage 

+437 400 459

About Roy Hill 

Roy Hill is a world-class iron ore operation and the largest single ore mine in Australia. 

Situated 344km south east of Port Hedland in Western Australia’s mineral rich Pilbara region, Roy Hill is an independent iron ore operation with local majority ownership and chaired by Mrs Gina Rinehart. 

With integrated mine, rail and port facilities producing 60Mtpa – Roy Hill is one of the world’s major resource-based operations, which will deliver enormous benefits to the broader community for many years to come. 

Roy Hill’s first shipment of iron ore departed from Port Hedland on 10 December 2015 and has since loaded multiple shipments to its key markets in Japan, Korea, China and Taiwan. Roy Hill achieved many firsts, including the largest mainland resource debt funding in the world, from 19 of the world’s largest banks, and five Export Credit Agencies. 

Roy Hill operates some of the largest equipment in the world and in addition to having the fastest ramp up to 

55Mtpa in the Pilbara, has maintained a focus on safety excellence. In December 2015, Mrs Rinehart was recognised as “Miner of the Decade” by the Sydney Mining Club. She has also been awarded “Chairman of the Year” by CEO Magazine as well as being the only female to win the trifecta of Diggers and Dealers Awards and inducted into the Mining and Prospecting Hall of Fame. 

Roy Hill has been presented with a range of accolades, including: 

• 2020 Australia’s Mining Monthly Community Project of Year 

• 2020 Australian Mining Prospecting Awards Mineral Processing of the Year Award 

• 2019 Platts Global Metals Awards Industry Leader Raw Metals 

• 2019 CEO Magazine Awards COO of the Year Award 

• 2019 Diggers and Dealers Digger of the Year Award 

• 2018 WA Training Awards WA Employer of the Year 

• 2018 Prospect Award for Community Interaction 

• 2018 L&MH Mercury Awards Transport Solution of the Year: Rail 

• 2017 Platts Global Metals Awards Rising Star Company Award 

• 2016 Australian Mining Prospect Awards Excellence in Environmental Management Award 

• 2016 Engineers Australia (WA) Australian Engineering Excellence in Engineering Distinction 

• 2016 Engineers Australia (WA) Australian Engineering Excellence in Resource Development 

• 2016 Engineers Australia (WA) Australian Engineering Excellence in Project Management 

• 2016 Project Management Institute Project of the Year 

• 2016 Railway Technical Society of Australasia Railway Project Award 

• 2015 Mines & Money Asian Corporate Development Award 

• 2015 IJ Global Asia-Pacific Project Mining & Metals Deal of the Year 

• 2015 IJ Global Asia Pacific Deal of the Year 

• 2014 CEO Magazine Awards CFO of the Year Award 

• 2014 Finance Asia Magazine Project Finance Deal of the Year Award 

• 2014 Finance International Magazine Asia Pacific Deal of the Year 

• 2012 Diggers and Dealers Deal of the Year Award