Mpumi Zikalala has been name Kumba Irone Ore’s first female CEO following the resignation of Seamus French at the end of 2021.

French is currently the CEO of Bulk Commodities, and will be replace by Themba Mkhwanazi, current CEO of Kumba. Both appointments will take effect from 01 January 2022 with Zikalala’s successor as De Beers Managed Operations MD to be announced in due course.

Mark Cutifani, Chief Executive of Anglo American, said, “We congratulate Themba Mkhwanazi and Mpumi Zikalala on their new roles. Themba will shape the strategy for our global iron ore, metallurgical coal and manganese interests. The premium quality of our steelmaking ingredients and the partnerships we will continue to build to develop cleaner steelmaking technologies have never been more critical as we work to tackle climate change.” He added that Zikalala ‘s extensive operational experience at De Beers will be instrumental as she builds on Kumba’s progress to drive sustained safe, world-class performance working closely with its strategic business partners.

“I am also delighted that, together with Nolitha Fakude as chair of our management board in South Africa, and Natascha Viljoen as CEO of our PGMs business, we will have three women of such high calibre leading our extensive interests in South Africa,” highlighted Cutifani.

In conjunction with these changes, Ruben Fernandes, CEO of Base Metals, will also take on accountability for the iron ore and the nickel operations in Brazil. As planned, the Quellaveco copper operation in Peru will also move to the Base Metals portfolio once it is commissioned. This streamlining of responsibilities will allow Ruben to maximise efficiencies across all of Anglo American’s operations in South America, alongside his global strategic responsibilities for base metals.

“We thank Seamus for his enormous contribution and unfailing commitment to Anglo American over 14 years, both as CEO of our coal businesses and in his more recent role leading our global bulks operations and strategy. His work to draw out considerable operational synergies and sharing of best-practice has enhanced our capabilities and been central to our performance improvements over many years. We wish him well,” concluded Cutifani.

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