ANGLO American Platinum (Amplats) has appointed Natascha Viljoen as CEO following the resignation of Chris Griffith on Monday.
Viljoen, a former Lonmin executive, is currently head of Amplats’ processing division, a role she has held since 2014. Her appointed will be effective April.
Viljoen said of her appointment that it was “… an opportunity to re-imagine how we operate in our mines and our host communities”, adding that the focus would also be on developing applications for platinum group metals (PGMs), and improving safety.
“Safety is paramount, always, while building a purpose-led high performance culture with
stakeholders front of mind is critical to the future of our business,” she said.
At Lonmin, Viljoen was executive vice President of processing and led the company’s sustainability, employee health, environmental and stakeholder relations work at various times. She previously worked at AngloGold Ashanti and was GM of BHP’s Klipspruit Colliery prior to joining Lonmin in 2008.
Viljoen led a team that was recognised for its work in developing Coarse Particle Recovery technology which enables the separation of metals from rock using a fraction of the energy and water of traditional methods, while increasing throughput and productivity.
“I feel really excited to take on my new role at Anglo American Platinum and I am fortunate to inherit a business in such a strong position. Chris Griffith has reshaped our
PGMs portfolio to be fit for the future,” she said.
Norman Mbazima, Chairman of Anglo American Platinum, said: Viljoen was “… a seasoned senior executive” who would bring 28 years of operational experience to the group. “She knows us and our business well,” he said.
Griffith announced on February 17 that he would bring the curtain down on its seven-year tenure at the firm, saying the time was right to make way for a new leader. During his time as CEO, Griffith oversaw the restructuring of the company, cutting more than 400,000 ounces in platinum production and thousands of jobs.
Amplats paid a R14.2bn dividend following a stellar performance in the 2019 financial year assisted by the strong performance of the rand basket of platinum group metal prices.