Peter Meurs has resigned from the board of massive iron ore exporter Fortescue Metals Group for a senior role in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
Meurs was Fortescue’s director of development, and an executive director on the company’s board, until he resigned on Monday.
He was previously managing director at Worley Parsons.
While at Fortescue, Meurs led the company’s US$9 billion expansion to 155mtpa capacity, and is credited with leading a team that developed some of the world’s largest iron ore deposits.
“Peter lives and breathes innovation and has empowered those around him through his ability to passionately articulate a clear vision,” FMG chairman Andrew Forrest said.
“Peter is a very dear friend who I will miss greatly.
“From his early days with us at Worley Parsons to Fortescue executive director, he played a critical role in our development.”
Forrest said Meurs left the company with an embedded culture of performance excellence.
“I thank Peter deeply for his courage to shoot for over the horizon targets, always having a bullet proof Plan B, and most of all for giving such an extensive part of his highly productive life to Fortescue.”
Fortescue chief executive Nev Power was equally glowing in his review of Meurs’ time at the mining company.
“Peter has brought tremendous energy and expertise to Fortescue,” Power said. “His ability to inspire teams to deliver against stretch targets has delivered outstanding results, and we have all benefitted from his clarity of thinking, passion for our business and strong values-based leadership.”
Fortescue said Simon Carter, group manager of development would continue to manage key projects and establishment of new ventures for the company in Meurs’ place.
The announcement comes a week after the miner announced it was running ahead of schedule for iron ore exports in the 2015/16 financial year, thanks to kind conditions for exports at Port Hedland during the March quarter.
Fortescue exported 42 million tonnes of iron ore in the March quarter 2016, up 4% year-on-year.