The ASX-listed mining company Santana Minerals, which owns Otago's Matakanui Gold, is kicking off the New Year with new faces round its board table.

Movements started in May last year when chair Norm Seckold resigned in for personal reasons with director Tony McDonald stepping in as interim chair until new chairman Peter Cook was appointed in October.

At the company’s annual general meeting in November, Cook announced Matakanui Gold co-founder Warren Batt’s retirement.

Then just before Christmas non-executive director Richard Keevers resigned having been with Santana since 2013. 

The company also farewelled McDonald as a director from Jan 1, 2024. He'd been on the board since its listing more than a decade ago.

In an announcement to the ASX earlier this week, Cook said he was surprised McDonald was stepping down. 

But McDonald said it was an appropriate time to move on and to focus on personal matters.

Cook said the departing director considered the company was now on a pathway and under the guidance of a good board.

During the year, Damien Spring stepped up from a general manager role for NZ into a group chief executive position. He will now become an executive director in place of McDonald.

Alongside Spring’s appointment to the board, Sam Smith has joined as executive director, replacing Keevers.

“The NZ mining industry, in general, are all behind us. It’s extremely satisfying to see all work so well together,” Cook told shareholders at their annual meeting in November.

Santana was touted as overseeing a "project of national significance" in New Zealand after acquiring Matakanui Gold in 2020.

Thanks to the acquisition, it now holds 100% interest in the Bendigo-Ophir gold project covering 252 square kilometres in Central Otago, NZ.

Santana Minerals also operates in Australia, Cambodia and Mexico. 

The company has a 45% NZ-based shareholding.

Santana Minerals was last trading at A$1.01 (NZ$1.09), having rallied from around 80c at the start of December.

This story has been updated to correct that Matakanui Gold operates in Otago.