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Amplats finance director Craig Miller to take the helm as CEO in face of PGM price pressure

Amplats finance director Craig Miller to take the helm as CEO in face of PGM price pressure
New Amplats CEO Craig Miller. (Photo: Geoff Brown)

As an internal appointment who has been reporting directly to the current CEO, the handover process should be relatively seamless.

Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) has appointed its finance director, Craig Miller, as its CEO, effective October, to take over from the departing Natascha Viljoen. Miller will be taking the helm in the face of depressed prices and at a time when the platinum group metals industry is trying to carve out new roles for its products as the global economy decarbonises.  

The announcement of Miller’s appointment coincided with the release of Anglo American’s interim results.  

Read more in Daily Maverick: Amplats outgoing CEO expects internal combustion engine to be ‘stronger for longer’

Natascha Viljoen is headed for US shores, where she will assume the role of chief operating officer at Newmont. (Photo: Supplied)

He will take over from Viljoen, a rare example of a female CEO in South Africa’s still male-dominated mining sector. She is headed for US shores where she will assume the role of chief operating officer (COO) at Newmont, the world’s largest gold producer.  

“I want to thank Natascha for her outstanding contribution to Anglo American Platinum. Under her leadership, the business achieved new safety milestones, made substantial investments in asset integrity and mine development, and successfully navigated the unprecedented challenges brought on by the pandemic,” Amplats’ chairperson, Norman Mbazima, said in a statement.  

As an internal appointment who has been reporting directly to the current CEO, the handover process should be relatively seamless.  

“Against the backdrop of macroeconomic uncertainties, including high inflation and lower metal prices, we must remain agile, adapting to market realities while focusing on efficiency and prudent resource management,” Miller was quoted as saying. 

These are certainly trying times for the producers of platinum group metals (PGMs), with prices sagging under the weight of an uneven global recovery and uncertain economic outlook.  

Amplats said on Monday that its headline earnings for the six months to the end of June fell by more than 70% to R7.9-billion. 

But Amplats, which years ago made a profitable pivot to mechanisation, remains well-placed to benefit from any upturn in prices as the emerging “hydrogen economy” and other decarbonisation trends open up new applications and markets for PGMs, which have traditionally been used as emissions-capping autocatalysts in internal combustion engines.   

Miller, who has an affable and soft-spoken manner, is an accountant by training and has had a range of roles at Anglo American over the course of a 23-year career. DM

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