Silvercorp Metals (TSE:SVM)(NYSE:SVM) unveiled Friday some changes to its senior management and board, saying its CEO Dr. Rui Feng will resign from his role to focus on the position of chairman.
To replace Dr. Feng, the board has appointed Silvercorp's current president, Myles Gao, as the new chief executive. Gao first joined the company as president in 2003, and has also held the position of COO.
Separately, the China-focused silver miner also announced it has appointed mining engineer Malcolm Swallow to its board of directors. Most recently, Swallow was the director and VP of development at Inter-Citic Minerals for four years, a company that developed and sold the Dachang gold project in China to a major Chinese miner.
Swallow has more than 40 years of operating and project management experience, including the development and construction of underground and open pit mines involving both precious and base metals, according to Silvercorp's statement.
"With his mine engineering background, the appointment of Mr. Swallow brings missing expertise to the company's Board," said Silvercorp in the release.
The number of directors on the board remains the same, at seven, as Dr. Robert Gayton has resigned as he moves toward retirement.
Last month, Silvercorp Metals said it had identified and moved to address fraudulent contractor practices that resulted in diminished head grades at its China mines, with its new approach already leading to improved head grades, the Vancouver-based miner revealed in a production update for the Ying mining district.
The China-focused, low-cost silver producer, in its efforts to adapt to the new price environment, made a point of reviewing its operations in a quest to identify any potential cost saving measures and in so doing, discovered a practice among mining contractors in the Ying mining district of China that has resulted in a misleading dilution of grade.
Silvercorp has taken immediate action to address the situation, modifying the method of calculating the actual amount of ore mined by contractors. The company is forecasting that during this time of transition, ore production with improved head grades may remain at a reduced level for one to two more quarters. Nonetheless, the silver miner expects the new method to lead to long term cost savings and improved head grades.