Sutherland previously resigned in December 2018 and left the board at the end of January as he did not support the strategic direction the previous management team was taking.
However, he now fully supports the new board's decision to reappraise and execute the Arckaringa underground coal gasification project in Australia in the longer term, as well as the possible investment into a significant vanadium mine in China, of which executive director Qinfu Zhang owns 40%.
Altona, which recently joined the NEX Exchange and delisted from AIM, expects to appoint a UK-based non-executive chairman in March.
In January, the board tried to remove directors Zhang Qinfu and Ma Chi, but the amendment failed at a January 14 general meeting.
Ten days later, CEO and director NIcholas Lyth resigned, as did non-executive director Henry Kloepper, while shareholders voted at an January 25 annual general meeting that short-lived directors Robert Hales and Timothy Jones also not be re-appointed.
Altona has appointed Orana Corporate as its new financial team to provide its accounting and finance function, as well as carry out the role of company secretary.
Orana and Alton are throughly reviewing the company's historical financial operations to ensure compliance with the UK's rigorous corporate governance measures and to move forward into 2019 with a "clean bill of health".