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World Coal Association Assigns Rio Tinto Exec as New Chairman

Former chief executive of Rio Tinto Energy, Harry Kenyon-Slaney

The leading global authority on coal, the World Coal Association (WCA) has announced the appointment of Harry Kenyon-Slaney as its new Chairman. The former chief executive of Rio Tinto Energy replaces Chair Dr Zhang Xiwu, Chairman of the Shenhua Group, following the WCA general meeting in Canberra last month.

In his opening, Kenyon-Slaney commented: “I’m honoured to have been appointed and look forward to engaging robustly in the debate about how the world’s growing energy needs will be met, whilst also addressing the need to tackle the very real issue of climate change. It is a complex dilemma with no easy solutions.”

The newly appointed Chairman spoke about the current state of the coal market and the global energy demand.

"We as an industry have an interest in ensuring that coal can be extracted and consumed in a way that minimises any environmental impact. I believe we need to see ongoing investment in finding technical solutions to this issue, recognising the significant role fossil fuels will continue to play in the global energy mix."

Kenyon-Slaney also paid tribute to the outgoing Chairman: “I would like to acknowledge the significant contribution made by Dr Zhang and the Shenhua Group during his time as Chairman. Under Dr Zhang’s leadership, the WCA expanded its capability and reach by establishing the Strategic Research Institute and launching Cornerstone, the official journal of the global coal industry.”

Chief Executive of the WCA, Milton Catelin acknowledge “there are however, global challenges we face – energy access, energy security, affordability of energy and reducing emissions, all require us to work together. The coal industry needs to be united, constructive and engaged in major energy policy discussions."

This comes as the Australian coal industry slows down, getting hit hard with financial woes. 

Appointed chief executive of Energy in 2012, Kenyon-Slaney joined Rio Tinto in 1990 from Anglo American Corporation where he held management positions in South Africa, Australia, and the UK.

View the entire press release here: