Sandfire appoints South32 executive Brendan Harris as new CEO

Brendan Harris, CEO, Sandfire Resources

SANDFIRE Resources said it had appointed Brendan Harris as the company’s MD and CEO following the resignation of founding CEO, Karl Simich.

Harris is currently chief human resources and commercial officer at South32 having been previously the inaugural CFO of the group. He has been a member of the group’s executive since the 2015 demerger from BHP.

He previously served as BHP’s global head of investor relations and, prior to joining BHP in 2010, held various roles in investment banking including as executive director at Macquarie Securities, where he led the firm’s metals and mining research team.

“Brendan and his team played an instrumental role in defining our approach to climate change which saw South32 commit to a target of a 50% reduction in our operational greenhouse gas emissions by 2035 and a net zero goal by 2050,” said South32 CEO Graham Kerr in a statement.

South32 said its vice president supply Rob Jackson would take on the acting role of chief human resources and commercial officer until a permanent appointment was made.

Commenting on Simich’s decision to step down in September, Sandfire said: “Now is a logical time for a leadership transition” having also completed the $1.87bn acquisition in 2021 of the MATSA Copper Operations.

The company also recently announced the $71.9m expansion of the Motheo project in Botswana which is expected to incur capital expenditure of $397.4m. It will bring on initial production of about 3.2 million tons of contained copper in March next year before ramping up to 5.2 million tons annually.