Fastmarkets Metals and Mining: American rare Earths reshuffles management, headquarters

Published by: Grace Asenov

American Rare Earths (ARE) has appointed a new chief financial officer and expects to make more announcements soon as part of its transition to become a US-based company, according to the firm’s North American president.

ARE named Jose Rico as its new CFO on Tuesday July 18. Rico will play an integral role in ARE’s US transformation and become part of the management team based in Colorado, the mining company said in Tuesday’s announcement. He previously served as global head of management company finance at Resource Capital Funds and as managing director of corporate accounting at The Charles Schwab Corporation.

Earlier this month, ARE announced it would add three new directors to its board and establish a Denver-based management team. The changes are supported by current chief executive officer and managing director Chris Gibbs, who will continue as the company’s non-executive director and consultant based in Australia, the company said on July 6. ARE also announced the retirement of Clarence McAllister from the board.

“The board of directors decided that it was a good moment to accelerate the Americanization of the company,” North American president Mel Sanderson told Fastmarkets last week. “It was always the vision that this would segue at the right time from being an Australian-originated company to an American company.”

ARE has identified a new CEO, who will be announced next month, and is in the process of recruiting for a general counsel and investor relations expert, according to Sanderson. The company also plans to announce the location of its new headquarters in Denver soon, hopefully in September, she said.

Sanderson cited an “unprecedented” level of financial support from the US government and an “incredible” amount of bipartisan support for rare earths as the two main factors behind ARE’s decision to move their headquarters to the US at this time.

Sanderson and the new CEO and CFO together will drive commercialization efforts, conduct feasibility studies and oversee exploration activities at ARE’s projects in Halleck Creek, Wyoming; La Paz, Arizona; and Searchlight, Nevada.

“We’re actively scouting to add a couple of properties to our portfolio,” Sanderson said.

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