(EnergyAsia, May 10 2013, Friday) — Australia’s Celsius Coal has announced personnel and structural changes at its board and management to position for long-term growth at its operations in Kyrgyzstan.

The company said managing director Grant Thomas has resigned but will remain as a consultant while Kyrgyz country manager Alistair Muir has been promoted to technical and operations director with a seat on the board. Celsius has also hired an experienced coal executive, Matthew O’Kane, as its new chief financial officer, and promoted Nazariy Terlyga to general manager of the Kyrgyz operations.

After joining Celsius in mid-2012, Mr Muir, who has over 20 years experience in senior geological roles and major exploration and development projects, worked closely with Mr Thomas in managing the company’s technical programme.

Mr O’Kane last worked as chief financial officer of SouthGobi Resources Ltd, a leading supplier of coking coal from Mongolia to China.

Mr Terlyga was previously an economic counselor representing the Kyrgyz Republic at the UN and WTO in Geneva.

Celsius said these changes will support its next phase of growth that will include “significant” drilling and field work, and the completion of project studies to develop its 255-million tonnes of coal reserves in the Central Asian country.

The company’s executive chairman, Alexander Molyneux, said:

“The road ahead of us includes the move through feasibility, project financing and development. With Alistair, Matthew and Nazariy, we have a balance of the right experience to successfully deliver on these milestones.”

Focused on developing coking and thermal coal deposits in Kyrgyzstan, Celsius owns 80% of the Uzgen Basin project comprising the Kargasha, Kokkia and Min Teke deposits. It also owns 90% of the Alai Range projects comprising Sary Mogol and Bel Alma.