07/05/2010 Mark Cutifani CEO of AngloGold Ashanti presenting their first quarter results at their offices in JHB. (176) Photo: Leon N icholas

The Chamber of Mines and its mining company members have welcomed the appointment of Mark Cutifani as chief executive of Anglo American and have extended their warm congratulations to him.

“Mr Cutifani has done exceptional work since his appointment in 2007 as chief executive officer of AngloGold Ashanti. He has well documented and extensive executive experience in the global mining industry which makes him eminently well qualified to lead Anglo American in its diversified role as a major international business entity‚” the chamber said in a statement on Tuesday.

At its AGM in November last year‚ the Chamber of Mines elected Cutifani as its president. He has undertaken to retain the chamber presidency for a period of one year. Consequently‚ his presidential term will end in November 2013‚ the chamber said.

The Public Investment Corporation (PIC) also welcomed Cutifani’s appointment‚ noting that the main challenges in Anglo American have been around capital allocation‚ project management as well as operational - particularly the copper mine in Chile - in nature.

“These challenges dictated a CEO that is strong in these areas‚ particularly in operations. Mark fits this profile fairly well as he has broad experience in mining operations and projects across a wide range of commodities and geographies. This includes SA (50% of Anglo operations) as well as South America where Anglo has had project and operational challenges. We‚ therefore‚ commend the board on their choice and wish Mr Cutifani success in his new role‚” the PIC said.

However‚ the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has expressed its disappointment at the appointment.

“Anglo has missed yet another opportunity to appoint either a black or even white South African woman to lead the global entity. The NUM is particularly disappointed at Anglo's continued resistance to transformation as well as its commitment to hire only foreigners for the top job‚” the organisation said in a statement.

“The mining sector remains lily white at the top and at board level with a sprinkle of black here and there. Those who work underground are black and poor but those in higher offices are white and male‚” said Frans Baleni‚ the NUM general secretary.

“The appointment of yet another male reinforces the notion that leadership and management in the mining sector is the preserve that belongs to the old boys club‚” said Baleni. - I-Net Bridge