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New Hope's future was looking bright so why did boss suddenly quit?


Resources company New Hope has lost its chief executive just weeks after a significant victory in the courts put its Acland coal project in a position to return to production.

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The Brisbane thermal coal producer announced Friday afternoon that Reinhold Schmidt had resigned.

It followed a short period of personal leave and the decision was apparently his.

He had only been with the company for 18 months, but it had been rough period marked by a downturn in the coal price, the China trade bans and significant redundancies because of the firm’s inability to nail down regulatory approvals from the State Government for its Acland expansion.

However, in recent months the coal price had turned around, New Hopes share price was up and the Land Court had finally recommended to the Government that the Acland expansion be approved, with conditions.

There won’t be any handover period. Schmidt’s resignation was immediate.

Investors were spooked by the resignation and wiped more than 4 per cent off the share price equating the surprise departure of Schmidt at about $50 million. It could have been worse. Sometimes the share price increases on the back of a resignation.

New Hope’s chief financial officer Rob Bishop will move into the role of acting chief executive and will receive a higher duties allowance of $230,000 a year.

Chairman Robert Miller said Schmidt had led the company during a challenging period and had delivered organisational changes that positioned it to withstand the downturn in commodity prices in early 2021.

He said this allowed for “outstanding returns” as the market improved.

“The outlook for the company is positive and the board looks forward to working with Mr Bishop and the leadership team to successfully deliver the company’s purpose and strategy,” he said.


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