Rio Tinto is not the only mining company to be experiencing change at its highest levels, with ASX-listed gold producer Perseus Mining revealing today that Mark Calderwood would step down as managing director.
Mr Calderwood has been managing director of the West African focused miner since it listed on the ASX in 2004, and will hand over to his chief financial officer Jeff Quartermaine on February 1.
Mr Calderwood's profile has arguably never been higher, after he was asked to present to more than 500 people at the Melbourne Mining Club in December, but in a statement today he indicated he was keen to spend more time on grass roots exploration.
Perseus said Mr Calderwood will continue with the company in a "part-time technical role'' which will focus on ''his strengths in project generation, recognition and discovery, for which he has an excellent track record''.
Mr Calderwood is also a large shareholder in Perseus, he said the company and new management continued to have the "full support" of his holdings.
Mr Quartermaine's elevation represents the company's need to juggle both grass roots exploration but also an operating gold mine.
The company's biggest asset is the Edikan gold mine in Ghana, where it has previously promised to produce between 245,000 and 265,000 ounces of gold in the year to June 30, 2013.
But guidance was missed in both the September and December quarters, and the company will update gold production and other operations tomorrow.
Perseus also has exploration ground in Cote D'Ivoire.
Perseus chairman Reg Gillard said Mr Calderwood had done a great job, and the company was now looking to the next era and its goal to become a "multi mine, mid-tier gold producer".
"Jeff has proven himself an excellent CFO and in the past year he has increasingly taken on management challenges passed on by Mark and the board,'' said Mr Gillard.
Shares were up 0.5 per cent to $2.05 in lunch time trading.