Kamal Baziz was made director general at a WMZ board meeting in Algiers on 4 December. His appointment is effective from 1 December. Baziz has been technical manager at WMZ for 18 months. He previously spent 14 years as a geologist for UK-based GMA Resources on the development of a gold mining project in the Hoggar area of southern Algeria. He has given up his position as a geology lecturer at Bejaia University in order to take up the role.

WMZ is developing a world-scale zinc prospect at Oued Amizour, 12 kilometres from Bejaia. A total of 24 holes have been drilled, and scoping studies are due for completion by the end of December. Australian mining company Terramin holds a 65 per cent interest in WMZ, with state mining company Entreprise Nationale des Produits Miniers Non-Ferreux et des Substances Utiles (ENOF) holding 32.5 per cent and state-owned exploration company Office National de la Recherche Geologique & Miniere (ORGM) the remaining 2.5 per cent

The previous director general, Belkacem Touahri, left WMZ when his contract expired at the end of October. Kevin Moriarty, executive chairman of Terramin Australia, was acting director general in the interim period.

Dominique Petroons has also been appointed as WMZ technical manager. A Swiss national, Petroons is a geologist with extensive experience in managing drilling programmes elsewhere in Africa. She joins WMZ from international aid organisation the Red Cross, where she was working on water drilling programmes.

The company is also looking to employ someone to take overall charge of the project. The new appointee will travel between Algeria and Australia, liaising between the project teams. “We haven’t determined whether this will be a local hire or an international hire,” says Andrew Robertson, general manager of operations. “We are looking to employ the best person.”

WMZ is set to move into new offices in January. The team is currently based at two locations, at the Cristal Hotel in Bejaia and near the exploration site on a compound owned by ORGM. The newly-constructed, dedicated building will include both office space and facilities for data logging of rock core samples extracted during drilling operations. The total number of logging sheds will be increased to four from the two in use.