Rare Earths Play Defies The Odds On A Wing And A Prayer

Charles Lew says he would never have taken on the role of executive chairman at Gascoyne-focused Hastings Technology Metals had he known how difficult it would be.

It’s the type of admission few bosses of aspiring miners would make.

But Lew is no ordinary mining boss. The Singapore-based former investment banker is a God-fearing man, who accepted the role with some reluctance and a giant leap of faith. In 2012, he decided to diversify his investments by taking a stake in Hastings because the rare-earths sector had been beaten down and he saw a big future in specialty metals, especially those used in the permanent magnets which drive the electric motors in electric vehicles and wind turbines.

But Lew became frustrated with the company’s lack of progress and eventually negotiated to buy out its founder and major shareholder, Sydney-based venture capitalist Richard Shemesian, brother of legendary resources investor Mick “Many Names” Shemesian.