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TNG set for board showdown despite offer of concessions

A bitter shareholder stoush at aspiring mine developer TNG looks set to go the full 12 rounds despite the company offering concessions to appease dissident shareholders.

The company’s board has been at loggerheads with an aggrieved group of shareholders backed by wealthy Queensland investor Warren Brown and led by Exante Data senior adviser Grant Wilson for the past two months.

The group is frustrated by the slow progress of the company’s flagship Mt Peake vanadium-titanium-iron project in the Northern Territory and argue that the current board does not have the experience required to develop the mine.

They have put motions for a shareholder meeting on Tuesday that would remove managing director Paul Burton and former chairman turned non-executive director John Elkington from the board and have them replaced by Mr Wilson and mining consultant Dr Anthony Robinson.

The group was not swayed by an announcement from TNG on Friday that it would seek a new managing director to replace Mr Burton and that Mr Elkington would step down from the board, following a discussion with major shareholders.

Newly appointed TNG chairman, Neil Biddle, also advised the company would abandon a proposed listing on the London Stock Exchange with its London-based director Elizabeth Henson would step down.

The company also extended an olive branch to Mr Brown and other major shareholders in offering them the chance to nominate new candidates to the board.

Mr Biddle said the board and management renewal process would ensure TNG would have the right people at the helm to drive Mt Peake into production.

“Our intention is to recruit a new chief executive with large project and mine development experience who will deliver the Mt Peake project,” he said.

“The collective impact of these board, management and strategic initiatives will be to put TNG on an accelerated pathway to deliver the Mt Peake project and create a world-class critical minerals business delivering a suite of key future-facing metals required for the global energy transformation.”

In an update to shareholders, Mr Wilson said he had been expecting TNG’s management to make a “last gasp” announcement on Friday given the overwhelming support that the dissident shareholder group had received.

“Please be assured that my comments on the state of play are unchanged,” he wrote.

“Change is coming to TNG, and it is now imminent.”

Mr Wilson’s comments come after proxy adviser ISS weighed into the brawl, backing the incumbent board over the dissident group.

Mr Biddle had previously argued the group was seeking to use the Corporations Act to seize control of TNG without paying a takeover premium.

TNG shares closed down 0.5¢ at 12.5¢ on Friday.

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