Petra Diamonds downscales board, eyes efficiency

Petra Diamonds' Finsch mine

Petra Diamonds' Finsch mine

20th December 2023

By: Donna Slater

Features Deputy Editor and Chief Photographer


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Diamond miner Petra Diamonds is making a series of changes to reduce the size and improve the efficiency of its board, going into 2024.

Once these changes take effect, Petra's board will reduce from eight to seven directors, having been ten directors immediately prior to the company's annual general meeting in November.

Petra says these changes, although small, are an important part of the ongoing cost saving measures that are being implemented across the group to provide further flexibility should prevailing market conditions continue and are also in response to feedback from shareholders.

In addition, the miner notes that the reduction in the board from ten to seven directors, the merger of the sustainability and health and safety committees, and a fee reduction applicable to its chairperson and non-executive director (NED) positions will, once effective, reduce Petra's board fees by at least 25%, on an annualised basis.

Jon Dudas will step down from the board in his role as independent NED, and therefore as a member of the company's audit and risk, remuneration, nomination and investment committees, with effect from February 17, 2024; but, will assume the role of board advisor for six months until August 17, 2024.

Alex Watson will step down from the board in her role as a non-independent NED, and therefore as a member of the company's sustainability and investment committees, also with effect from February 17, 2024; but, will assume the role of board observer with effect from this date.

José Manuel Vargas has been appointed as a non-independent NED of Petra, effective January 1, 2024. Vargas is a significant shareholder of Petra, currently holding 8.57% of Petra's issued share capital.

With effect from the New Year, Petra’s new safety, health and sustainability committee will be merged to form a single safety, health and sustainability committee that will be chaired by Lerato Molebatsi – the current sustainability committee chairperson.

The merger of these committees will make the board more efficient and result in one less chair fee, without impacting the importance of health and safety matters at Petra which remain a key focus.

Members of this committee will be Molebatsi, Varda Shine (board chair), Richard Duffy (CEO) and Bernie Pryor (current health and safety committee chair).

Going forward, the remuneration committee will be chaired by Pryor, with Varda stepping down from this role, effective January 1, 2024.

In terms of chairperson and NED fees, Petra reports that the chair and NED fees will all be reduced by 5%, with effect from January 1, 2024; apart from the sustainability, health and safety committee chair fee, which will be slightly increased to match the audit and risk, and remuneration committee chair fees and reflect the increased responsibilities of the safety, health and sustainability committee.

“I believe the changes announced today will result in a lower cost, more efficient and right-sized Board which has an appropriate balance of skills and experience,” says Shine.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter



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