South Africa’s leading gold miner mulls CEO succession as it shifts focus to copper

by MMC
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Harmony Gold CEO Steenkamp to retire in December 2024

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Gold mining company could search internally for new CEO

By Felix Njini

NAIROBI, Sept 13 (Reuters) – Harmony Gold Mining boss Peter Steenkamp plans to retire at the end of next year as South Africa’s largest gold producer in volume is looking for new growth opportunities in copper mining.

Steenkamp, ​​who turns 64 in November, has been at the helm of Harmony since returning in 2016. In 2022, the company extended the gold mining veteran’s tenure by two years.

Steenkamp will leave around December 2024 and the company has “strong internal candidates to continue what we have built since 2016,” spokesman Jared Coetzer told Reuters.

Steenkamp’s imminent exit does not change the strategy of turning to developing copper assets and seeking deals to grow the business, Coetzer added.

“There are several internal candidates that would need to go through the nomination process and ultimately it would be a decision of the board,” Coetzer said.

Harmony is one of a handful of gold miners in South Africa exploiting the profits from some of the most expensive, aging and deepest gold mines in the world.

It may be “difficult to find outsiders with deep gold mining experience” to run the company, RMB Morgan Stanley analysts said in a note.

The Johannesburg-based producer has shifted its focus to developing new gold-copper assets in Australia and Papua New Guinea, as its domestic profits are hit by safety concerns at underground mines, power outages. recurring electricity and the increase in crime.

Harmony plans to spend about $600 million to build a new mine at the Eva copper project in Australia that it purchased last year.

It also plans to advance the Wafi-Golpu copper project in Papua New Guinea, jointly owned with Newcrest Mining, once the country’s authorities grant regulatory approvals. (Reporting by Felix Njini, editing by Mark Potter)

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