Anglo American announces South Africa management shake up
Anglo American has announced the appointment of Themba Mkhwanazi as CEO of Kumba Iron Ore limited (Kumba) following Norman Mbazima’s decision to step down after four years to focus on his role as Deputy Chairman of Anglo American South Africa.
Norman Mbazima will remain a member of the Group Management Committee and will have oversight of the processes to restructure and divest Anglo American’s non-core assets in South Africa, including its interests in the Kumba and thermal coal businesses.
July Ndlovu, Executive Head of Processing Operations at Anglo American Platinum since 2007 is appointed CEO of Anglo American’s Coal business in South Africa, to replace Themba Mkhwanazi. The Kumba Board’s appointment of Themba Mkhwanazi as CEO and Anglo American’s appointment of July Ndlovu as CEO of Coal South Africa will take effect on 1 September 2016. Both roles will report internally to Seamus French, CEO of Anglo American’s Bulk Commodity business.
Mark Cutifani, Chief Executive of Anglo American, said: “We congratulate Themba Mkhwanazi and July Ndlovu on their new roles as CEO of Kumba and our South African coal business respectively. I thank Norman Mbazima for his tireless work to reshape Kumba’s cost structures over the last four years to create what is a much more resilient business to weather the lower iron ore price environment. Norman will now concentrate on how we deliver value through the restructuring and divestment of our non-core businesses in South Africa as we continue to explore all appropriate options, as we have been doing across our global portfolio of non-core assets.”
Norman Mbazima said: “I have been privileged to lead Kumba through what has been a tough period for iron ore and for South African mining. Together with the Kumba team, we have transformed the business to put it on a firmer footing, making the difficult but necessary decisions to ensure the business’ profitability and long term health. I wish Themba Mkhwanazi well as he takes up the role as CEO and look forward to continuing to work closely with him and with July Ndlovu as I consider the optimal divestment path for Anglo American’s non-core interests in South Africa.”
Themba Mkhwanazi commented: “I am excited by the prospect of leading one of South Africa’s great success stories. Kumba has a rich mineral endowment and a skilled and dedicated workforce enabling us to produce high quality lump and fine iron ore products to our steel customers around the world. My energies will be focused on maintaining Kumba’s strong track records in safe production, mutually beneficial relationships and further increasing productivity to ensure the sustainability of the business for the benefit of all our stakeholders.”
On his appointment as CEO of Anglo American’s South African Coal business, July Ndlovu added: “I am delighted to lead Anglo American’s South African coal business. I have always admired the business’ resolute commitment to the safety and wellbeing of its employees and sustaining this will be my priority. My immediate focus will be on operational performance that meets our customers’ needs, supporting the value of our domestic and export mines and working together with colleagues and our key stakeholders to advance the divestments.”
Seamus French, CEO of Anglo American’s Bulk Commodity business, concluded: “Both Themba Mkhwanazi and July Ndlovu have proven abilities in leading safe and productive complex operations at a time when cost competitiveness is critical to the sustainability of any mining business. Our priority for both businesses is to lead them safely through their divestment from Anglo American. We expect the price environment for both thermal coal and iron ore to remain under pressure and our operational focus is firmly on building upon the excellent work of the teams to date to further improve performance and value.”
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Vale invests $150mn to extend life of Manitoba operations
Vale has announced a $150mn CAD investment to extend current mining activities in Thompson, Manitoba by 10 years while aggressive exploration drilling of known orebodies holds the promise of mining well past 2040.
Global energy transition is boosting the market for nickel
The Thompson Mine Expansion is a two-phase project. The announcement represents Phase 1 and includes critical infrastructure such as new ventilation raises and fans, increased backfill capacity and additional power distribution. The changes are forecast to improve current production by 30%.
“This is the largest single investment we have made in our Thompson operations in the past two decades,” said Mark Travers, Executive Vice-President for Base Metals with Vale. “It is significant news for our employees, for the Thompson community and for the Province of Manitoba.
“The global movement to electric vehicles, renewable energies and carbon reduction has shone a welcome spotlight on nickel – positioning the metal we mine as a key contributor to a greener future and boosting world demand. We are proud that Thompson can be part of that future and part of the low carbon solution.”
Vale continues drilling program at Manitoba
Coupled with today’s announcement, Vale is continuing an extensive drilling program to further define known orebodies and search for new mineralization.
“This $150mn investment is just one part of our ambitious Thompson turnaround story. It is an indicator of our confidence in a long future for the Thompson operations,” added Dino Otranto, Chief Operating Officer for Vale’s North Atlantic Base Metals operations.
“Active collaboration between our design team, technical services, USW Local 6166, and our entire Thompson workforce has delivered a safe, efficient and fit-for-purpose plan that will enable us to extract the Thompson nickel resources for many years to come.”
The Thompson orebody was first discovered in 1956 by Vale (then known as Inco) following the adoption of new exploration technology and the largest exploration program to-date in the company’s history. Mining of the Thompson orebody began in 1961.
“We see the lighting of a path forward to a sustainable and prosperous future for Vale Base Metals in Manitoba,” said Gary Annett, General Manager of Vale’s Manitoba Operations.