Kavango Resources (LON: KAV) on Tuesday made the announcement it is promoting executive director Ben Turney to the role of chief executive officer.

“His assumption of the role of CEO is a natural progression, both for him and for the company,” the mineral exploration firm said.

Turney, who was appointed as executive director at the start of 2021, will take over from 40-year industry veteran Michael Foster.

Foster has been chief executive at Kavango since its July 2018 listing and will remain with the company as a non-executive director.

The firm said Turney “has been very active” ever since he joined the board, instigating “a number of important initiatives”. These have improved not only operations, but also communications, commercial development, and financial management.

For example, the incoming CEO was “instrumental in securing” Kavango’s strategic partnership with Spectral Geophysics covering the Kalahari Suture Zone (“KSZ”) in Botswana.

The partnership involves Spectral sharing its technical knowledge with Kavango, helping the company optimise future KSZ underground remote surveys. Kavango agreed to issue 3.0 million shares at 3p each to Spectral, tied in for 12 months, as well as 3.0 million warrants with a 4.25p per share exercise price.

At the time of the deal, Turney himself said it “guaranteed Spectral’s focused attention” in unlocking the KSZ and was “absolutely” expected to accelerate progress there.

Turney was also key to securing terms for the company’s deal with Mindea Exploration and Drilling Services/Equity Drilling.

“In Ben Turney we have a new CEO who has considerable energy and drive, and who shares the board's determination to deliver value to shareholders out of our various Botswana projects,” said non-executive chair David Smith.

Kavango’s annual general meeting takes place later this week. Subject to shareholder approval at this meeting, Hillary Gumbo – managing director of Botswana subsidiary Kavango Minerals – will join the company’s board.

Gumbo is responsible for exploration activities in Botswana was one of Kavango Minerals’ founders. He has been an important executive team member for years and is an experienced geophysicist.

The company also took the time to thank Chuck Forrest, who recently stepped down as chief financial officer but will remain a consultant as needed. ONE Advisory, which provides accounting services externally, will manage Kavango’s financial function.

Turney said the firm still has “plenty of work to do” and considerable opportunities with “three potentially major projects” each with “a chance of delivering a major metals discovery”.

These projects include the Kalahari Suture Zone, as well as two Kalahari Copper Belt (“KCB”) joint ventures: the South Ghanzi joint venture with Power Metal (LON: POW), and the LVR joint venture with LVR GeoExplorers.

The board changes follow a series of exciting company announcements. Year-to-date, Kavango’s shares are up more than 120% as its projects approach major milestones.

For example, the latest results from its Morula target at South Ghanzi were so encouraging that it has surpassed the Acacia target and become the number one priority for drilling.

Not only that, but earlier in June Kavango said drilling will start this month in the northern Hukuntsi section of the KSZ. Drilling is set to begin no later than Wednesday next week.

“We are well funded and have advanced exploration programmes, delivering a constant stream of new data. Everything is now in place for an exciting period of growth,” Turney concluded.

Author: Anna Farley

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