Toro Energy will have a change of leadership around the time its controversial uranium mine proposal wins its final government approval, with its new managing director to have strong experience in environmental management.

Toro announced today that Vanessa Guthrie will replace incumbent Greg Hall on February 8, after Mr Hall decided to join copper producer Hillgrove Resources as chief executive.

Toro shares rose as much as 1 cent, or 9.5 cents, to 11.5 cents in early trading this morning.

Mr Hall will remain a board member of Toro, which is hoping to develop Australia's next uranium mine near the Western Australian town of Wiluna.

Dr Guthrie has been in charge of the Wiluna project for Toro in recent times, and has previously worked in sustainability roles with Western Mining Corporation, a subsidiary of Alcoa and Woodside.

Environmental aspects of the new mine are a major consideration for Toro, with many environmental groups opposing the plan and governments imposing strict environmental regulations.

Ms Guthrie's appointment also means Toro will have two women in its top ranking roles, with the chairman's post being held by Erica Smyth.

Toro is awaiting federal approval of the Wiluna mine and is expected to make a final investment decision by the end of 2013 - close to a year later than original schedules.