Lonmin Restructures Management Team; Hires New COO
Platinum miner Lonmin Plc (LSE:LMI) has reorganized its executive management team with hopes of reviving its operational capacity after enduring the six-month platinum strike in South Africa.
As part of the executive reshuffle, the company has appointed Johan Viljoen as its new chief operating officer, replacing Mark Munroe. As former senior manager for AngloGold Ashanti, Vilojen is a critical component in Lonmin’s bid of realigning its mining efforts.
“He comes with impressive turnaround mining experience and a proven track record of delivery,” Lonmin CEO Ben Magara said in a statement referring to the appointment of Johan Viljoen.
“He will be instrumental in the execution of the operational strategy and overseeing the completion of the ramp up and will work closely with me and the executive team as we assess our medium- to long-term strategy and options on the productivity and profitability of our business, including cost reduction.”
The restructuring of Lonmin’s management team will enable the company to drive a more focused delivery of its emerging strategy.
“I believe that people make the difference and I’m certain that, if we focus on people, results, safety and sustainability, we will deliver a better future for all our stakeholders,” Viljoen said in a statement.
According to Magara, Lonmin will retain CFO Simon Scott, executive VP of human resources Abey Kgotle, executive VP of communications and public affairs Lerato Molebatsi and executive VP of transformation Brnard Mokwena.
“Our most important job is to shape a company that is sustainable through all cycles and poised to take full advantage of our excellent assets and technical abilities. Our commitment is to ensure that we bridge the execution gap in a disciplined and supportive way,” Magara said.
“This will help accelerate execution and operational excellence through the whole organization.”
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.