9 April 2024

Rio Tinto on hunt for new Weipa general manager as Markham prepares to depart

| Cape York Weekly
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Shona Markham

Rio Tinto will start recruiting for a new Weipa general manager following the announcement Shona Markham was moving to Gladstone to run the company’s Boyne Smelter operation. Photo: Supplied.

Rio Tinto will soon have a new Weipa leader in place following the announcement general manger Shona Markham was leaving the western Cape York township to take up a new role in Gladstone.

Ms Markham has accepted the role of the general manager of the global mining giant’s Boyne Smelter (BSL), and will start in the new role in late May after finishing up in Weipa on 14 April.

In internal emails seen by Cape York Weekly, Ms Markham told staff it had been an “absolute privilege” to lead Rio Tinto’s Weipa operation.

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“It’s with mixed emotions I’m sharing the news that I’ve accepted the role of general manager at BSL, based in Gladstone,” she said in the email.

“In doing so, I will be close to my young children, who have moved there late last year.

“My last day as Weipa [general manager] will be [14 April], with a couple of trips back up here following that date.

“It’s been an absolute privilege leading such an amazing team, and you should all feel proud of what we’ve accomplished together; I’ll sincerely miss being part of it [and] I have learnt so much because of you.

“I truly believe there is something incredible about this community and the Cape York region, and how this team works together for the best outcomes.”

READ ALSO Rio Tinto Weipa operations make a big comeback in 2023

Northern operations manager Mark Arkell will step up to replace Ms Markham in an acting capacity until a permanent replacement can be recruited.

In another internal email, chief operating officer Steve Badenhorst praised Ms Markham’s leadership.

“Shona has a proven track record leading operational teams, with a focus on safe and stable operations that positions people at the centre,” he told staff in the email.

Mr Arkell will commence as acting general manager in Weipa on 26 April.

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