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By Kevin Crowley
(Bloomberg) — Harmony Gold Mining Co. hired its former chief operating officer and most recently vice president at Sasol Ltd.’s mining division, Peter Steenkamp, to replace Chief Executive Officer Graham Briggs as the miner battles to cut costs and debt.
Steenkamp, 55, who worked at the company previously for four years, will start on Jan. 1, the Randfontein, South Africa- based company said in a statement Monday. He also worked at African Rainbow Minerals Ltd. and Pamodzi Gold Ltd. between his stints at Harmony.
“Returning to the gold sector and to Harmony is like coming home,” Steenkamp said in the statement. “The company has demonstrated its resilience during recent challenging times and has been positioned for profitability by the management team.”
South Africa’s third-largest gold company, which operates mainly ageing mines, has lost 53 percent of its market value this year, the biggest drop of 15 major producers tracked by Bloomberg Intelligence as it battles high costs and low ore grades. While Harmony saw a headline loss of 523 million rand ($37 million) in the quarter ended Sept. 30, output and costs fell, preparing it to repay its debt in the next two years, Briggs said on Nov. 5.
JOHANNESBURG, Nov 9 (Reuters) – South Africa’s Harmony Gold has appointed Peter Steenkamp to replace Graham Briggs as chief executive of the bullion firm, the company said on Monday.
Steenkamp, 55, was previously the chief operating officer of Harmony for four years and most recently the senior vice president of mining at petrochemicals company Sasol. Briggs had announced his retirement in July.
Harmony, which along with other gold producers, is battling low prices and rising costs which have squeezed profit margins.
“The company (Harmony) has demonstrated its resilience during recent challenging times and has been positioned for profitability by the management team,” he said in a statement.
Steenkamp will be faced with managing Harmony’s aging South African mines, slashing debt while investing in the development of its Golpu mine in Papua New Guinea.
Steenkamp will take the reins from Briggs, who has served at chief executive since 2008, on Jan. 1.
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