Anglo to appoint projects role as force behind ‘FutureSmart Mining’, Tony O’Neill retires

TONY O’Neill, Anglo American’s technical director and long-time colleague of former CEO, Mark Cutifani has announced his retirement, effective from December.

O’Neill’s departure signals the continued change over of executive management duties at the group’s apex. Cutifani made way for current CEO, Duncan Wanblad in April.

O’Neill was Cutifani’s go-to appointment. They worked together at AngloGold Ashanti before Cutifani left for Anglo in 2013. He appointed O’Neill months later to tackle Anglo’s technical skills deficit.

O’Neill is credited as the brains behind Anglo’s FutureSmart Mining initiative which introduced industry-leading technical, logistical and human resources innovations. It helped propel Anglo from sector sluggard to market darling.

O’Neill will make way for Matt Daley, Anglo’s new technical director. O’Neill’s project development remit, however will be held by another as yet unnamed candidate suggesting  the importance Wanblad has given to project implementation.

The company has four projects on its books including the expansions of Mogalakwena, a platinum group metals mine in South Africa, and the Chile mine Collahausi. It is also to develop the greenfield project Sakatti in Finland, as well as Woodsmith polyhalite – a soil nutrients project situated in the UK.

Daley, who previously worked with Glencore, is currently head of Anglo’s mining – a position he has held from 2017. He had “led the transformation of many of our in-mine activities,” said Wanblad today. “Now we must embed that mindset consistently across our sites,” Wanblad added.

“I have felt so privileged to lead such an inspiring team that has shared in my overwhelming desire to change the future of mining for the better – for people and our planet,” said O’Neill.

He would continue to consult to Anglo until mid-2023.