Meet our People

Meet our People

Board of Directors  

Phillip Thomas – Chairman

Phillip has been CEO and Chairman of a number of ASX and TSX companies and has a wealth of experience in exploration, mine feasibility and development, operations, minerals trading, corporate strategy, and valuation. He has significant trading and investment banking experience having been a senior executive at Macquarie Bank, ABN AMRO, Watson Wyatt, and McIntosh Securities.

Phillip has substantial Australian and international mining experience having worked in Chile (copper), Argentina, Peru, Mexico (copper), USA, Canada (copper), and Malaysia. He has a keen understanding of the skills required for the successful development of mining businesses and the teams that run them. He is a strong proponent of “get it right the first time” and developing people to excel in their roles. Phillip's commodity experience includes copper, gold, iron ore, lithium, and rare earths.

Phillip joined the Board as a non-executive Director in June 2021 and has since been appointed Chairman. His key responsibility is to provide guidance and share his experience, skills and expertise with other Board members and the CEO. The Board will meet on a regular basis to receive CEO reports on the Company’s progress and assist in the decision making of significant endeavours.

Phillip focuses on creating shareholder value. This means an increase in the share price, commensurate with positive economic developments achieved by the Company.

Dan Jauncey - Executive Director 

Dan founded Matilda Earthmoving in 2000. This business was based in Toowoomba, Queensland and operated predominately in Southern Queensland and Northern New South Wales. In 2003, Dan saw an opportunity in the resource sector to supply late model, low-hour ancillary equipment on a rental basis. This alleviated a number of industry challenges and, as a result, Matilda Earthmoving was wound down and Matilda Equipment was formed. Over a 15-year period, Dan expanded Matilda Equipment nationally and also established a branch operating in Papua New Guinea. In 2012, Matilda Equipment was recognised as one of the fastest growing companies in the country and was placed in the BRW Fast 100 Companies. In 2018, Matilda Equipment was sold to an ASX listed company.

Dan was instrumental in the acquisition of the key mining assets for Austral Resources in 2019. Since acquisition, he has been involved in all facets of Austral Resources, from day-to-day operations through to capital raising. He takes a holistic, hands-on approach to business, regularly visiting sites and being involved with the team.

Ultimately, Dan is responsible for ensuring that Austral Resources continues to grow through its LME Grade A copper production and Anthill Project. Dan is keenly aware of the need to be agile and competitive in a global industry. He will position the Company to take full advantage of the team’s skills and knowledge to diversify its production and maintain its position as a market leader.

Jeffrey Innes – Non-Executive Director 

Jeff is a professional leader with high integrity and demonstrated performance in operations management, strategic planning in mines, feasibilities, mine expansion, and HR restructuring. Jeff possesses a progressive style of leadership, with a strong customer focus and an ability to view the organisation in a global context. His management style involves focusing teams on value adding priorities. His commodity experience includes zinc, silver, lead, iron ore, gold, copper, uranium, and coal.

Jeff has worked across senior management levels at a number of companies, including General Manager positions with MIM, Joy Global, HSE Mining, BHP, and Ok Tedi Mining Limited (PNG), as well as COO for Conquest Mining.

Jeff joined the Board as a Non-Executive Director in June 2021. He brings many years of experience in leading and improving mining operations, using both inhouse and contractor labour hire models. He will be involved with the Safety and Sustainability committee and the Audit and Remuneration committee. As a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Jeff is well versed in the governance and fiduciary requirements of a Non-Executive Director.

Jeff’s appointment marks a significant step for Austral Resources. He will add immense value in bringing Anthill to fruition and extending the exploration efforts in the area.

Jarek Kopias – Company Secretary 

Jarek has 25 years' industry experience in a wide range of financial and secretarial roles within the resources industry. This includes 5 years at WMC Resources Limited's Olympic Dam operations, 5 years at Newmont Mining Corporation in the Australian corporate office, and 5 years at Stuart Petroleum Limited, an oil and gas producer and explorer, prior to its merger with Senex Energy Limited.

Jarek is currently the CFO and Company Secretary of Resolution Minerals Ltd (ASX: RML), and Company Secretary of Core Lithium Ltd (ASX: CXO) and Iron Road Ltd (ASX: IRD). He has held similar roles with other ASX entities in the past, and has other business interests with numerous unlisted entities.

Jarek joined Austral Resources as Company Secretary in July 2021. With his extensive experience as a professional Company Secretary, Jarek is well versed in strategic planning and implementing best practice corporate governance processes. He will be involved in assisting the Board in carrying out its fiduciary duties as well as identifying opportunities for strategic governance and continuous improvement in systems and processes.

Management Team

Steven Tambanis - Chief Executive Officer

Steven has extensive management and operational experience across both small and large global mining companies. His commodity experience includes copper, gold, and other commodities. He has skills and experience in comprehensive exploration, evaluation, capital raising, investor relationship management, and business leadership.

Prior to joining Austral Resources, Steven held the position of CEO of North Stawell Minerals. Earlier roles include Managing Director of ASX listed Black Rock Mining Limited, and Technical Director of Goldminex Resources. Steven also worked as part of a management consultancy group reviewing operating mines.

Steven joined Austral Resources in July 2021 as CEO. His role is to lead Austral’s mining and processing teams, manage an intensive near-mine exploration initiative to expand the Company’s current copper resource base, and to oversee value adding opportunities that arise from Austral’s assets in the Mount Isa district. He will be closely monitoring operational costs and working to deliver additional long-term ore feed to Austral’s existing processing facility.

Shane O’Connell – Chief Operating Officer

Shane has over 20 years’ experience in senior management roles across a range of industries, including an extensive and highly esteemed career in aviation and senior operational management. He has experience as both a Director and Senior Manager, and has worked as a Government Delegate facilitating compliance and safety programs for various civil aviation safety authorities in Australia, Papua New Guinea, and the United States of America.

Prior to joining Austral Resources, Shane was Managing Director and owner of a private earthmoving company that specialises in civil engineering and rehabilitation works.

Shane joined Austral Resources in July 2019. Previously, as Managing Director, Shane was responsible for the management, safety and compliance, and growth and production performance of the Company’s operations. Shane has also been responsible for all negotiations with state regulators including the Department of Resources, Department of Environment and Science, and Queensland Treasury, particularly in relation to the Anthill Project. He is a fundamental part of day-to-day internal communications with the production and processing teams, ensuring continued LME Grade A copper cathode is produced on time and on budget.

Luke Johnstone – Chief Financial Officer 

Luke is a senior finance and leadership professional with over 14 years of business management experience. Prior to joining Austral Resources, Luke worked in private equity with Warburg Pincus under the Total Safety brand where he served as Director of Operations for the Canadian business units. He later went on to be a co-founder and Vice President of Business Development of Connect Global Strategies which oversaw deals in the oil and gas, mining, and infrastructure sectors.

Luke joined Austral Resources in October 2019. As Chief Financial Officer, Luke is responsible for the Company’s corporate controllership, investor relations, financial reporting and analysis, strategic planning and analysis, and corporate development functions. Luke prides himself on being a strong leader who leads by example in work ethic, knowledge, and self-development.

Angus Peterson – Finance Manager 

Angus has been an auditor with KPMG, where he worked for over 9 years with both listed and private companies. In this role, he had a particular focus on energy and natural resources and spent over 2 years in Houston, Texas working with oil and gas clients. Angus also spent 2 years working as the Financial Reporting Manager for TerraCom Resources, an ASX Listed coal mining company.

Angus joined Austral Resources in March 2021. As Finance Manager, Angus is responsible for day-to-day accounting functions, integrating finance operations, managing the cash flow, the production of monthly financial reporting, and the preparation of the Company’s financial statements.

Tim Fisher – Mining Manager

Tim has 30 years’ experience in the mining industry with a strong record of resource evaluation, project development, and implementation of new operations. Tim has a wide variety of management experience working for mining companies and mining contractors, and is skilled in both open pit and underground mining.

Having worked in operational, technical and management roles throughout his career, Tim is a competent leader who is equipped with the knowledge to maximise profits and production whilst keeping costs and delays to a minimum.

Tim heads the Company’s mining team, managing the technical services and operational employees, as well as mining contractors.

Andrew Beaton – Site General Manager / Geology Manager 

Andrew has 25 years’ experience within the minerals industry with a track record in initiating and maintaining successful geological practices in both new and mature hard rock mining operations.   

Andrew has held senior geological and resource management roles with companies including Emperor Mines (Emperor Gold Mine, Fiji), Kagara Ltd (Surveyor, Dry River South and Balcooma mines), MMG (Century Mine) and Minjar Gold (Pajingo Mine). His commodity experience includes copper, zinc, lead, molybdenum, silver, and gold.  

Andrew manages Austral Resources’ operational geology, exploration and tenement package.

Darren Holmes – Processing Manager/Senior Site Executive 

Darren has over 20 years’ experience in the mining industry with more than 15 years’ experience in managing and coordinating Heap Leach, Solvent Extraction and Electrowinning Plants. He has worked from the ground up in his mining career, going from operating plants to commissioning processing facilities, project management, site coordination, and finally into senior management roles.

Darren has a broad experience base across operations and projects within Australia and overseas. As the Operations Manager of the Wetar Copper project in Indonesia, he was an integral part of the team from feasibility of the project to the successful commissioning of the Company’s 30,000 tonne per annum commercial plant. Working as an operations specialist and project manager for PPM Global, Darren was involved in the commissioning, construction, project management, and implementing continuous improvement across sites such as Whim Creek Copper in WA, CopperCo and Matrix Metals Commissioning and Expansion QLD, Hill Grove Gold NSW, Australian Solomons Gold, Solomon Islands, Cooljarloo Mineral sands WA and Boroo Gold Mongolia.

Darren is Austral’s Processing Manager and Site Senior Executive. He is responsible for the technical and operational functions of the processing infrastructure. Darren applies his expertise across a range of functions, from the crushing of the ore body through to the production of the final LME Grade A standard copper cathode.

Michael Jones – HSEQ Manager

Michael has held roles including HSEQ Manager and Process and Emergency Response Coordinator across multiple operations and has been responsible for the development and implementation of management systems. He was the HSE and Emergency Response Coordinator at Aditya Birla where he managed the establishment of the underground emergency response team. Michael also successfully managed the re-certification of the Gunpowder Airport to CASA compliance.

As the Company’s HSEQ Manager and Emergency Response Coordinator, Michael is responsible for the development and implementation of multiple management systems. Michael is also the current alternate Site Senior Executive and the Process Manager at site. He is responsible for managing all aspects of the heap leach, solvent extraction and electro-winning plant to produce copper cathode to LME A grade standards.