Ascom Geology and Mining, (Ascom) a regional geological services and mining group established by the leading Mena private equity firm, Citadel Capital and a group of regional co-investors, announced this week that it has hired Kenneth Crichton to consolidate and streamline the company's operations under one umbrella.
Crichton, an Australian national with extensive experience in the mining industry in both Western markets and developing economies, will head Ascom's newly formed holding company, Ascom Gold. The group will include two gold mining companies in Ethiopia 'Ascom Ethiopia' and 'Nubia' and one in Sudan 'Naptah for Geology and Mining' and includes four concessions in the mineral rich area.
'Crichton is the ideal person to head this new entity that we are creating,' said Ascom Chairman, Fayez Gress. 'The financial, managerial and technical skills he has gained working in markets including Indonesia, Australia and Papua New Guinea will be of extreme value to the company as it moves further along with its exploration and feasibility studies of the highly promising concessions that it has acquired in Ethiopia and Sudan.'
Crichton spent the vast majority of his 23-year career in the mining industry working for BHP Billiton, one of the largest mining companies in the world, where he held a variety of operational and managerial positions. In his most recent post he was President of PT Billiton Indonesia and PT Maruwai Coal, both subsidiaries of BHP Billiton.
While in Indonesia, Crichton was responsible for the exploration, development and operation of BHP Billiton's seven coal contracts in the Maruwai Basin in East Central Kalimantan. He also helped launch a $25m-a-year exploration program that resulted in the identification of a number of coal resources and mineable reserves. Significant among his achievements at BHP Billiton Indonesia was the fact that he managed to develop a national workforce capable of operating the business in a culturally sensitive region.
'I am pleased to be joining a company with growth prospects as promising as Ascom's. I look forward to the challenges ahead and the prospect of working in new countries, particularly virgin markets such as Ethiopia and Sudan,' said Crichton. 'The fact that we were able to attract a CEO of Crichton's caliber is verification that the company is moving in the right direction. He is definitely a very solid addition to the group,' says Gress.