Asia Iron's controlling Chinese owners are set to swing the axe at the troubled would-be Mid West magnetite producer, with managing director Bill Mackenzie and senior executives likely targets.
Sources say 60 per cent Asia Iron-owner Chongqing Chonggang Minerals Development could part company with Mr Mackenzie as early as today. Up to five other members of the executive - its entire technical team - are also expected to come under pressure.
It is understood China-based Asia Iron chairman Guo Deyong will move into an executive role, alongside non-executive director Ben Zikmundovsky, who joined the board in August and is believed by staff to be a major architect of the plan to change the company's management team.
The move comes after months of tension between Asia Iron's Australian staff and CCMD, with concerned staff last month sending a petition to the state-owned Chinese company calling for it to observe due process in relation to its employees and operate with a greater level of transparency.
Any management shake-up could also exacerbate tensions between CCMD and Asia Iron's 40 per cent owner, privately held Hong Kong company Sinom, which is believed to be supportive of the Australian executive team.While CCMD is yet to provide clarity on funding for Asia Iron's $3.65 billion Extension Hill magnetite project, Mr Guo told staff last month it expected to announce a $US730 million equity injection by February.