MELBOURNE, June 5 Australian rare earths miner Lynas Corp suddenly replaced its CEO on Thursday with a telecommunications executive following prolonged delays in ramping up its Malaysian rare earths plant to full capacity.
Lynas said Amanda Lacaze would take over from Eric Noyrez, who had been in the top job for just over a year and led the company's start-up of its mine in Australia and plant in Kuantan after facing community protests, as well as technical and financing issues.
Lacaze was previously chief executive of Commander Communications and executive chairman of Orion Telecommunications.
"Overcoming numerous challenges and achieving consistent production is a significant transformational milestone enabling us to now place increased emphasis on commercial success," Lynas said.
The company, which is facing a sharp slump in rare earths prices, has said it expects to finally reach its targeted rate of 11,000 tonnes a year by the end of June.
Lynas said Lacaze's experience in chemicals, heavy inudstry, technology and marketing, including as head of marketing at Australia's top telecomms company Telstra Corp Ltd, would help build its business and strengthen its financial position.
Lacaze and Noyrez could not be immediately reached for comment on Thursday. A Lynas spokesman had no further comment on the change at the top beyond the announcement to the stock exchange. (Reporting by Sonali Paul; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)