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Foster steps down at Stratex, Engelbrecht steps up

In putting Stratex together, Foster established himself as an early mover in the mining boom of the last decade
Foster steps down at Stratex, Engelbrecht steps up
Dr Foster - a key architect in the development of Stratex

So, farewell Bob Foster, but not goodbye.

The man who put together Stratex International plc (LON:STI) is calling it a day as chief executive, although he’ll stay on as a consultant.

In putting Stratex together, Foster established himself as an early mover in the mining boom of the last decade and created a company almost unique in London as a project generator.

The model, which is more common in Canada, was to generate a series of new projects and sequentially package them up for sale, occasionally holding on to the choicest ones.

It was a process that took a bit longer than Foster had originally anticipated, as the mining boom later turned to bust and the market became fixated on cashflow rather than on exploration.

But along the way Foster was able to generate cash from asset sales, as well as spinning out projects into joint ventures with some serious investors in the Middle East.

The number of projects that have owed their early start to Stratex’s interest has been significant, and the company is now also a key shareholder at Goldstone Resources (LON:GRL).

And, after more than a decade in business the company is now also on the threshold of receiving maiden cashflow from its 45%-owned Altintepe mine in Turkey.

Foster will stay with Stratex for the time being as a consultant, and will help the new man, Marcus Engelbrecht, to settle in.

Engelbrecht is already well known the London mining scene, as he was the former chief executive of Archipelago Resources, a company with a sizeable gold deposit in Indonesia which was taken private a couple of years ago.

As news of Foster’s departure was released to market, SP Angel called him “a key architect” of the development of Stratex, making particular reference to the Turkish production and the East African exploration projects held in joint venture with Thani Investments.

Still, as much as many in the market were sad to see Foster go, investors also welcomed the appointment of Engelbrecht as a man with production as well as exploration experience, and whose CV includes time spent with OceanaGold and BHP Billiton (LON:BLT).

The shares rose just over 11% to 1.98p.

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