Saturday, March 23, 2019
Mark Wellesley-Wood

Mark Wellesley-Wood

Tristar Resources

LOVE him or hate him, the reality is that you cross swords with Wellesley-Wood at your peril, and the latest executive to find that out the hard way is former Mwana Africa CEO, Kalaa Mpinga. He was booted out of the Zimbabwean mining company in June last year after Wellesley-Wood played a key role in a shareholders’ revolt that we at Miningmx like to think of as a two stage saga - “The Return of the pin-striped bandit” followed by “The Revenge of the pin-striped bandit”. The details are murky, but the publicly-known facts are that Wellesley-Wood was appointed chairman of Mwana in September 2013 with Mpinga’s enthusiastic support. But he then resigned abruptly in February 2014 citing a “disagreement over strategy” with Mpinga. Wellesley-Wood re-appeared on the scene in May last year and Mpinga departed “with immediate effect” in June. Mpinga should have known better. Anyone who got the upper hand over the Johannesburg mining family, the Kebbles, has to be taken seriously. Wellesley-Wood says he’s currently “semi-retired”, but keeping his hand in as a consultant to Asa Resource Group as well as chairman of AIM-listed Tri-Star which is involved in an antimony project in Oman.

LIFE OF MARK

A mining engineer by profession and Fellow of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining, Wellesley-Wood made the transition from the rock face to mining finance so well he was once famously described by the late Brett Kebble as a “pin-striped bandit”. That could be viewed as an example of rare praise indeed! Amongst other positions held he has been executive chairman of DRDGold; CEO of former Zimbabwean gold company Metallon, and former non-executive chairman of Mwana Africa - now Asa Resource Group - as well as working for various investment banks.