Mid-size is beautiful for Bill Beament’s Develop Global

Develop Global boss Bill Beament says he has no interest in growing his mining and resources service company into a top 100 ASX-listed business (reports The West Australian).
4th August 2022

Speaking on day two of the annual Diggers and Dealers Mining Forum in Kalgoorlie, Mr Beament said he didn’t want to have a workforce bigger than 1500.

Before taking on the role of managing director of the former Venturex Resources last year and taking a 16 per cent stake in the company, Mr Beament led gold miner Northern Star Resources from a penny dreadful to a multi-billion gold giant over 14 years.

But the WA School of Mines-educated mining engineer said he held no such ambitions with Develop.

“For the benefit of prospective employees and investors alike, I want to be clear on one point, we’re not setting out to create a mining behemoth — nothing of the sort,” he said.

“In fact I don’t want to get into the ASX 100 again.

“We’re aiming to be large enough to have genuine scale and the ability to capitalise on opportunities but small enough that senior management including myself can remain very hands on, be involved in day-to-day activities and importantly, know everyone on-site.”

Develop holds the Sulphur Springs copper project in the Pilbara and in February struck a $30 million deal to acquire the shuttered Woodlawn zinc-copper project in New South Wales.

A former general manager at contractor Barminco, Mr Beament has also set up an underground mining services division, which is developing Bellevue’s namesake gold project near Leinster.

Speaking to reporters after his presentation, Mr Beament said the investor base of a company changed when it became a top-100 ASX-listed company.

“I saw that in my previous vehicle, you lose those very loyal shareholders that know your story, that know what you’ve achieved and they’re in that journey,” he said.

“It’s not fun in the ASX100, it’s a different audience.”

Mr Beament said he also believed workers were “jaded” and “disjointed” with working for large-cap companies.

“You forget that with the mining industry, 90 per cent of your workforce are blue collar workers and the other 10 per cent are engineers, geologists, metallurgists and surveyors,” he said.

“Blue collar workers traditionally work for people, they don’t work for the shirt, they work for who’s in the shirt - and we’re commandeering those people.”

Mr Beament said Develop had about 100 workers, which would grow to 200 in six months’ time and 300 in another six months after that.

“We just think that that’s a very good sized business, it’s very manageable,” he said.

“We’ve got the building blocks to be a multi-billion dollar company right now and there’s no dilution of shareholders moving forward, so it’s a pretty cool position to be in.”

Mr Beament said he believed the balance of power was swinging from miners to underground mining contractors because of a shortage of companies with the personnel to deliver services.

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