People and places

Published: Friday, 20 December 2013

IM speaks with Gregg Jones, president of EP Minerals as well as looking at other recent developments for industrial minerals people and places.


Gregg Jones
EP Minerals 
What are your objectives as the new president of EP Minerals?

We’ve had a long history of success and my number one objective is to keep that success going - continuing to drive the results of the business.

Secondly, we made a significant acquisition earlier this year - The Moltan Co. - and we want to continue that integration and continue our goals around that.

Lastly, we want to continue our growth strategy, which has a lot to do with new market development, getting into new market areas and continuing to drive our revenue growth through those activities.

So are these some of the things we can expect in the coming year?

Yes. For me, taking on the role of president of EP Minerals is not a turnaround objective, it’s continuing the great success we’ve had and all of the things I’ve just mentioned are the things we’ll be pushing out in 2014. Basically, we’re looking to build on the foundations already in place.

What are the biggest obstacles EP Minerals currently faces?

For one thing, we’ve grown a lot in the last 10 years and we continue to hire people in different regions of the world and with our new acquisitions we continue to add new plants to our business and new products.

What’s made us successful is that we’re quick, nimble and communicate very well across the world with our sales team and with our plants and people; as we get bigger we need to maintain that culture and make sure we keep the aspects of our business that have made us successful.

These things give us an advantage over some of our competitors as we are able to react quickly to the marketplace. We’re also a very customer-focused organisation.

EP Minerals recently raised the prices of its diatomite, perlite and cellulose products in all regions. Can we expect prices to continue for all products?

We don’t have any current price increases planned in the short term but we always try to pass on the inflationary costs in our business. We try to do that on a yearly basis and that was the increase we just saw. So, short term I don’t see any increases in price but if we see inflationary pressure - and we are seeing some inflationary pressure, especially with the regulatory environment and with the mining industry - we will probably need to increase prices at some point in the future.

What do you like to do in your leisure time?

I spend a lot of time with my wife and my two kids, who are in college. A lot of my time at the moment is is spent outdoors: I ski, I’m a fisherman, I like to cycle and run and so most of my spare time is focused on outdoor activities with my family.

Pacific Potash Corp.

Canadian mineral exploration company Pacific Potash has appointed Min Zhai to its board of directors following the stepping down of Robert Coltura as a director of the company.

Molycorp Inc.

Rare earths producer Molycorp has made several changes to its board of directors, including the addition of new CEO Geoff Bedford to the board.

Vice chair Constandtine Karatannopoulos was also elected by the board to serve as its new chair, replacing Ross Bhappu, senior partner of Resource Capital Funds, who is resigning from the board.

Hastings Rare Metals

Rare earths exploration company Hastings Rare Metals is appointing Charles Lew, the company’s largest shareholder and investment banker, as its chairman.

The company has also appointed Simon Wallace as a non-executive director.

Anthony Ho will continue as a non-executive director and chair the audit committee. Guy Robertson and Vas Hovanessian have both resigned from the board, though Robertson will continue as CFO and company secretary.

PPG Industries

The fibre glass business of PPF Industries has appointed August Astroth as general manger and Asia Pacific leader for the business effective 1 January 2014. He replaces Terry Fry, who is retiring after 41 years at PPG.

World Titanium Resources

Mineral sands exploration company World Titanium Resources company chairman, Waybe Malouf, and non-executive directors, Tristan Davenport and Rick Valenta have resigned. Nicholas Limb has been appointed as the new chairman. The remaining board members will stay the same.

Latin Resources

Mineral exploration company Latin Resources has extended the contract of its managing director, Chris Gale, by an additional three years to October 2016.

Rio Tinto

International mining company Rio Tinto has appointed Greg Lilleyman as the new group executive, Technology and Innovation effective 1 January 2014.

Lilleyman will be replacing Preston Chiaro, who is retiring at the end of March 2014.

ARM Group Ltd

Wastewater systems specialist ARM has appointed industrial wastewater expert Stuart Widdowson as business development manager to work alongside the existing sales team and take responsibility for European, commercial and operational contracts and tenders.

Baker Hughes Inc.

Senior vice president and CFO for oilfield services provider Baker Hughes , Peter Ragauss, plans to retire by the end of next year.

Energizer Resources Inc.

Graphite mineral exploration company Energizer has appointed Robin Borley as the company’s new senior vice president of mine development. Borely was also appointed as a company director effective 1 December 2013.

I-Minerals Inc.

Kaolin exploration company I-Minerals has elected Gary Childress to its board of directors. Childress has previously held a variety of senior management positions in industrial minerals and related companies.