The Pope quits: Who will give Anglo’s Cutifani divine assistance now?

Over the weekend The Australian reported that entering Anglo American (LON:AAL) CEO, Mark Cutifani, recently turned to the Vatican for advice on community relations, in an effort to tackle the social complexities of Africa’s mining industry.

Cutifani admitted to delegates at Mining Indaba in Cape Town last week that he had travelled to the Vatican two weeks ago for a meeting with Ghana-born Cardinal Peter Tuckson.

The Catholic Church is known for being a supporter of several NGOs acting on behalf of local African communities, which regularly find themselves in direct conflict with mining companies.

Although Cutifani said he hadn’t set foot in a church in the last 47 years, he was quoted as saying that the visit was part of an effort to better understand and engage with communities affected by mining activities.

The move by the executive, who also leads the powerful South African Chamber of Mines, has already won him widespread support from South African politicians and industry leaders, reported The Australian.

The Vatican’s current head, Pope Benedict XVI, stunned the Roman Catholic world on Monday by saying that he would resign on Feb. 28 after less than eight years in office.  The Pope said he no longer has the strength to fulfill the duties of his office, becoming the first pontiff since the Middle Ages to make such a decision.

Cutifani is the second non-South African to head Anglo American, following the US-born Cynthia Carroll. He will remain as South Africa-based bullion producer, AngloGold Ashanti (NYSE:AU), until the end of March.

(Image by Waddell Images,


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