End of the Kim era at Kazakhmys

Reuters reports Vladimir Kim, the biggest shareholder in Kazakhmys, will make way for an independent to take the helm  of the the London-listed copper miner within the next 12 months in order to “bring the company fully into line with the UK Corporate Governance Code.”

Kim, who will stay on as a non-exec, made the comments at the Kazakhmys annual shareholder meeting and follows pressure brought to bear by shareholders unhappy about the company’s recent performance.

The company, also listed in Hong Kong, is now worth almost 40% less than a year ago at $6.4 billion as it suffers from labour turmoil and escalating costs at home, and as copper prices retreat from historic highs.

Kazakhmys is  the world’s 11th-largest producer of the red metal and produces 90% of Kazakhstan’s copper. The Kazakh government holds a 28% stake in the company.

Last year the company mined 33 million tonnes of the red metal, significant quantities of zinc, 13 million ounces of silver and some gold.

Copper on Friday traded at $3.63 a pound, 20% below the red metal’s January 2011 highs.

Kim’s net worth is some $3.5 billion and he is the 33rd richest person on MINING.com’s 2012 mining billionaires list.

Kim made headlines in October 2010 when in one go, he sold $1.3 billion worth of stock to Kazakhstan’s sovereign wealth fund.

When he became involved with Kazakhmys (then called ZhezkazganTsvetMet) during the 1990s the Soviet era miner was in complete disarray and debt laden.

Kazakhmys was brought to the London market by controversial City wheeler-dealer Ian Hannam, aka ‘the king of mining M&A’. Hannam in April resigned as head of JPMorgan Capital Markets and is fighting to save his reputation after being fined for passing on confidential information of an oil deal he was advising on.

Click here for the full list of mining billionaires >> .

Image courtesy of the company.

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