Most recently he had been the chief executive officer of Village Main Reef and his appointment to the Continental board follows the completion and financial settlement of its strategic financing transaction with VMR.
That deal has resulted in VMR holding a 16.34% interest in the issued share capital of the Company.
He started his career with Gengold in 1983 and was the general manager of Beatrix Mines in 1993.
After joining Randgold in 1995 as Managing Director of Harmony Mine, Bernard became CEO of Harmony from 1997 to 2007 when the company grew to become one of the world's top 5 gold producers.
Swanepoel is also a non-executive director of Sanlam Life Insurance and African Rainbow Minerals and a partner of To The Point Growth Specialists.
With Swanepoel's appointment, Continental Coal's founding director Peter Landau has resigned.
Separately, the company's joint company secretaries Anthony Eastman and Jane Flegg have stepped down from their roles.
Dennis Wilkins and John Ribbons of DW Corporate Services will take on this role.
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