Roger Baxter to step down as Minerals Council SA boss in April 2023
Roger Baxter will step down as the CEO of the Minerals Council SA from April 2023, a role he has filled since 2015. Baxter has led the former Chamber of Mines through its rebranding and move from the Joburg CBD, while navigating its often fraught relationships with the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy.
Roger Baxter, an affable economist with an almost boyish enthusiasm for all things mining, felt it was “time for a change and to take a break” after almost 30 years in the industry, the Minerals Council said in a statement.
“Roger, working with what he describes as ‘great office bearer teams’ and with the full support of the board, has helped to reposition the industry by materially addressing many industry and country level issues,” said Nolitha Fakude, president of the Minerals Council.
That team of office bearers will now search for Baxter’s successor.
Baxter, an articulate and passionate voice for the industry, has steered the 132-year-old organisation into new waters while navigating a few storms along the way.
He has lead the council in countless engagements with the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) over policy disputes, ranging from the spat over “once empowered, always empowered”, to efforts to allow mining companies to build their own renewable power plants.
Generally a diplomat, Baxter has also often spoken his – meaning the industry’s – mind on a range of issues.
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Relations with former minerals minister Mosebenzi Zwane – the alleged Gupta puppet who has now been charged for his role in the Estina Dairy debacle – reached such a low point that the Minerals Council at one point stopped talking to him and pointedly boycotted events where he spoke.
The council’s relations with current DMRE Minister Gwede Mantashe have been better, but also at times rocky. Baxter has frequently urged the DMRE to get on with replacing its useless Samrad system for administering minerals rights with a functional mining cadastre, and the industry through the council has offered to help fund this critical initiative.
Baxter also oversaw the rebranding of the Chamber of Mines, a name with apartheid and colonial baggage, into the Minerals Council.
In April this year, the Minerals Council followed the exodus of its members out of the Joburg CBD – once the beating heart of the City of Gold – to the office hub of Rosebank. The only major organisation linked to mining in the CBD now is the National Union of Mineworkers.
Baxter joined the then Chamber of Mines in 1992, leaving for a year in 1999 to work in stockbroking before returning as Chief Economist. He left to join Rio Tinto for a year in 2011 and then returned to the Chamber in 2012. He was appointed COO in 2014 and CEO in 2015.
“In due course, I plan to come back and work in this great mining industry,” Baxter said on Monday.
It probably wouldn’t be too difficult for him to find work. DM/BM