Blackstone Strengthens Leadership Team to Build the Ta Khoa Nickel-Copper-PGE Project

Blackstone Minerals (ASX:BSX) is pleased to announce the appointment of Andrew Strickland as Head of Project Development and Richard Kitchener as General Manager Operations at the Company’s Ta Khoa Nickel-Cu-PGE Project in Vietnam.


  • Blackstone appoints key management personnel to drive development of Ta Khoa as a mine-to-market nickel business
  • Former GR Engineering manager Andrew Strickland appointed Head of Project Development
  • Experienced mine manager Richard Kitchener appointed as General Manager Operations
  • Blackstone promotes existing employees Steve Ennor and Vũ Hồng Cấm Vân to General Manager Project Development and General Manager Commercial roles
  • Blackstone has commenced PFS level studies for Ta Khoa, on track for delivery in early 2021

Blackstone Minerals (ASX:BSX) is pleased to announce the appointment of Andrew Strickland as Head of Project Development and Richard Kitchener as General Manager Operations at the Company’s Ta Khoa Nickel-Cu-PGE Project in Vietnam.

The Company is also pleased to announce the promotion of existing employees Steve Ennor to the role of General Manager Project Development and Vũ Hồng Cấm Vân to General Manager Commercial.

Blackstone Minerals’ Managing Director Scott Williamson said the appointment of these key leadership roles is an important step towards delivering the redevelopment of the Ta Khoa Project over the coming years:

“Mr Strickland’s and Mr Kitchener’s skills and experience will be invaluable as the Company embarks on the next phase of its strategy to produce downstream nickel products for the lithium ion battery industry.

“Our leadership team is very excited to continue to build and grow in a way that elevates the experience of our shareholders and creates optimal solutions for both the near term and long term as we develop Ta Khoa into a fully integrated mine-to-market nickel business. I look forward to continuing this journey with our growing leadership team.”

Mr Andrew Strickland – Head of Project Development

Mr Strickland will lead development of Ta Khoa. He is an experienced Study and Project Manager, a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, University of WA MBA graduate, with undergraduate degrees in Chemical Engineering and Extractive Metallurgy from Curtin and the West Australian School of Mines.

Previously, Mr Strickland was Senior Study Manager for GR Engineering Services Limited, where he was responsible for delivering a series of Scoping and Feasibility Studies for Australian and international projects.

Mr Strickland has a history of developing mining & metals projects across different commodities and jurisdictions as well as a broad understanding and experience in minerals processing, project management and corporate strategy.

Mr Richard Kitchener – General Manager – Operations

As General Manager Operations, Mr Kitchener will lead, plan and execute all operational activity to ensure a smooth transition into production. Mr Kitchener was Mining and Geology Manager at Masan Group’s Nui Phao Mine in Northern Vietnam for the past 10 years, responsible for the development of systems and procedures and negotiation of all contracts during the development and operation of the Nui Phao Mine.

Other previous roles include the position of General Manager Operations at Swan Gold Mining in Australia and General Manager of Operations at Ban Phuc Nickel Mines, Blackstone’s now renamed Ta Khoa Project. Mr Kitchener holds a Bachelor of Engineering from Camborne School of Mines.

Mr Kitchener’s appointment in Vietnam signals a new chapter in the Project’s development and strengthens the expertise of the current regional management team of Mr Steve Ennor and Ms Vũ Hồng Cấm Vân in their new roles as General Manager Project Development and General Manager Commercial to plan and manage the continued success of the Ta Khoa Project.

Mr Steve Ennor – General Manager – Project Development

Mr Steve Ennor, the General Manager Project Development, will manage the transition of the processing facilities from construction to operational readiness. Mr Ennor is a metallurgist with 30 years of experience in gold and base metals processing, including senior management and operational positions in Australia, Africa and South East Asia.

Mr Ennor commenced as the Ban Phuc Nickel Project Development Manager in 2010 and managed project development, plant design and construction into 2012 before transitioning to Metallurgy Manager.

Mr Ennor holds a Diploma in Metallurgy Engineering and is a member of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy.

Ms Vũ Hồng Cấm Vân – General Manager – Commercial

Ms Vũ Hồng Cấm Vân will act as General Manager Commercial and will be responsible for managing all business and financials, external affairs and communications in Vietnam relating to the Ta Khoa Project in conjunction with the General Manager Operations and General
Manager Project Development.

Ms Vân joined Ban Phuc Nickel Mines in 2006 and has successfully performed in several roles transitioning from senior environment officer to HSE & CSR manager and government affairs director.

Ms Vân holds a BSc in Environment Management from the Ha Noi National University and MSc in Climate Change from the Ha Noi National University.


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