The government has appointed Toby Frears as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Minerals Development Company of Botswana (Pty) Ltd (MDCB,) taking over from Paul Smith who left the company unceremoniously mid April 2017.
Minister of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security, Advocate Sadique Kebonang confirmed the appointment of Frears, the outgoing CEO of another government entity Okavango Diamond Company (ODC).
He revealed that the MDCB newly appointed Frears is expected to kick-start his new role effective August 1, 2017.
MDCB is an investment arm wholly owned by the government of Botswana and has been established to hold and develop all of the government mining interests and its purpose is to optimise returns to government from its equity stakes in the mining industry.
As the CEO Frears reports directly to the MDCB Board and the mandate of MDCB is the effective management and optimisation of the government mineral investment portfolio in the mining industry.
Frears joined ODC in 2012 as the company’s first Managing Director overseeing the company’s executive team, and was responsible for determining the company’s business strategy and for ensuring performance is delivered across the organisation. Frears has over 25 years’ experience in the diamond industry.
In his new role, Fears is expected to provide strategic leadership in the execution of the mandate of the company, implementation of its strategic plans and the cost effective management of its operations. He will be expected to develop the MDCB’s annual business plan as well as assuring the accuracy and integrity of the MDCB’s financial information.
A look into his career in Botswana; it began in 2007 when he joined DTC Botswana as the Head of Sales and Marketing before being recruited by the Botswana government to establish ODC.
Speculation is rife in media reports that dismissal of Smith from the company started to build up when government decided to sell the BCL mine assets to the Emirates Investment House (EIH) of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) following his alleged lack of cooperation and “disrespect” for his employers and key stakeholders at large.
The company is said to shall have full capacity, rights, powers and privileges within and outside the country to undertake any business, or enter into any transaction in the global mining industry.