Newmont announces leadership changes to facilitate Newcrest integration

Natascha Viljoen,. (Image courtesy of Anglo American)

Newmont has announced several leadership changes as it gears up to operate an expanded portfolio of assets and projects with the acquisition of Newcrest.

As previously announced, Natascha Viljoen will take on the role of chief operating officer at Newmont starting October 3.

From November 1, she will oversee the Australian, North American, and Papua New Guinea (PNG) business units. In addition to managing Newmont’s existing assets, her responsibilities will extend to overseeing crucial activities related to integrating Newcrest’s personnel and assets into Newmont following the completion of the acquisition.

Rob Atkinson will continue leading the Africa, Peru, and Latin America & Caribbean (formerly South America) business units, along with global projects, supporting the transition of critical operational integration activities.

Viljoen will then assume full accountability for all business units in early 2024, at which point Atkinson will transition into a strategic role supporting the business in another capacity, Newmont said.

As part of the effort to establish a dedicated business unit in Papua New Guinea, Alwyn Pretorius will take on the role of managing director, Papua New Guinea, based in Port Moresby and will report to Viljoen. Pretorius previously led Newmont’s Africa and South America business units.

Suzy Retallack will hold the executive position in Australia, in addition to her current role as chief safety and sustainability officer, based in Perth.

Speaking at the 2023 Gold Forum Americas conference last month, Newmont president Tom Palmer said he expects the combined business to deliver around $500 million of annual synergies, with a target of $2 billion in cash from portfolio optimization.

The Newcrest acquisition, said Palmer, is expected to strengthen Newmont’s portfolio and create the best collection of Tier 1 gold and copper assets concentrated in favorable mining jurisdictions.

The biggest value drivers of the transaction will come from Newcrest’s two Tier 1 operations, Cadia and Lihir, located in Australia and Papua New Guinea, respectively.