Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) announced on Wednesday that its first female chief executive officer, Natascha Viljoen, is leaving the company after three years to join Newmont Mining (NYSE: NEM)(TSX: NGT), the world’s largest gold producer.
Viljoen, who has held the top job at the biggest platinum group metal miner since April 2020, will remain as CEO of Amplats (JSE: AMS) until completion of her 12-month notice period, the South African company said.
The 52 year-old metallurgical engineer’s shift to US-based Newmont as chief operating officer, rounds off a mining career stretching more than 30 years that includes positions at AngloGold Ashanti and BHP’s chrome and coal business.
“While I have identified the next phase of my career, my commitment to delivering our clear objectives during this year is as firm as ever, beginning, of course, with keeping our people safe, every day,” Viljoen said in the statement.
Amplats board chairman Norman Mbazima said the process to nominate Viljoen’s successor is underway.
“Natascha has shown outstanding leadership transforming technical processing capabilities at Anglo American and we are excited to have her join the Newmont executive leadership team,” Tom Palmer, Newmont president and CEO, said in a separate statement.
Amplats’ shares took a hit after the announcement, dropping as much as 5.7% in Johannesburg in late trading. That took this year’s decline to 21%, as the company is grappling with power blackouts and challenging geological conditions at its two main assets — Mogalakwena and Amandelbult.
The news comes on the heels of Newmont’s $17 billion offer for Newcrest Mining (ASX, TSX: NCM), Australia’s no.1 gold miner.