Future of Ken Talbot's empire uncertain as Sundance Resources vows to rebuild
The future direction of Ken Talbot's billion dollar mining empire is in limbo following the mining magnate death in a horror plane crash in West Africa.
Control of the Talbot's holding company Talbot Group is likely to pass to his wife Amanda and Talbot's four children, although it is far too early to know how the family intends to manage the company.
But Talbot Group chairman Don Nissen said yesterday that Talbot would have liked to see the company continue with the projects he started.
"It certainly won't be business as usual because Ken won't be there," Nissen said.
"[But] there is a fair but of talent there and it may be that we can continue to be successful and follow some of his plans.
"As I'm sure you'll appreciate, there's no line in the sand and there's a lot of things on the go right now that we, frankly, have a responsibility to deliver. That will be a good start for us."
However, Talbot's death will create uncertainty for a number of smaller mining companies in which Talbot Group hold significant stakes.
As well as a 17% stake in Sundance Resources, Talbot owned substantial shareholdings in Marathon Resources, Southern Uranium, Goldminex Resources, Robust Resources and Cloncurry Metals.
If the family decides to offload some or all of these stakes, it is likely to spark significant share price movements.
Sundance Resources, which lost its entire board in the plane crash, is also starting the long process of rebuilding.
Former Sundance chairman George Jones has been appointed as a strategic advisor to the company and will begin the process of rebuilding the company's board to ensure the company can continue with the development of its Cameroon iron ore project.
It has been reported former BHP Billiton chief executive Brian Gilbertson could step in as a replacement for chairman Geoff Wedlock, who died in the crash
While Jones has described the situation as unprecedented he says he feels a responsibility to continue with the development of the African mine out of respect for the deceased.
"I've built that board before and I'm confident that it... can be done," Jones told ABC Radio.
"The management of the company with the exception of (chief executive) Don Lewis is still intact.
"What has happened is a tragedy for the families and it's a big setback for the company as well.
"I don't downplay the importance of the people we've lost, but the company must go on and this project can be made very successful."
Jones will seek guidance and clarification from ASIC as to the process for appointing a new board.