JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Diversified miner Anglo American’s new CEO Mark Cutifani has indicated that his initial focus would be to find ways to improve value creation within the company.
“I will look to start with the value proposition for being a major diversified [company]. I will look at the portfolio, the commodities we are in – do they make sense? Are they the right commodities for the future? The assets – are they competitive?...Should we be doing things differently to realise value?” he said during a video interview on his first day as CEO of the mining group.
Cutifani, who has mined on six continents in 25 countries and in 20 commodities and who succeeded Cynthia Carroll, indicated that he would be scrutinising the company’s balance sheet to determine whether it had the capacity to realise value and whether it was adequately operationally flexible.
A process of determining whether the right people were in the right positions to do the required work would also be undertaken.
Further, Cutifani said he would be looking into the company’s structures and systems, as the
mining sector was lagging behind others in this regard.
“I would like to put those pieces together in that first three or four months…getting the major themes out there and understanding what we have to attack to really create value in the long term.
“Within three or four months, you will start to get a sense of the key messages, the direction we are going and what we want to try and do, as a team, to deliver value to all our stakeholders, in particular our shareholders,” he stated.
He indicated that he would also work towards determining whether Anglo American had realised the potential of the diversity in its portfolio, where he believed great opportunity lay.
Cutifani commented that the commodities market had always been shadowed by uncertainty and that role-players had learnt to deal with this. “That is the world we live in…that does not worry me.”
What was of concern, however, was the global shortages of water and energy commodities.
“If the world is going to continue growing at better than 3%, we do not have enough of any of those products to support that growth.
“As a company, we can create real value by being smarter and quicker than our competitors in delivering into those needs in terms of the broader community and, at the same time, make sure we are doing right by our local communities, our own employees and all those people who are impacted by our business,” he stated.
Cutifani warned that mining companies should abstain from limiting their focus.
“I have seen the industry go through a range of cycles where, at some point in time, with the right asset or the right opportunity, each of those has been a good strategy. We make the mistake, I think, of defining the world by 'it is only this', or 'it is only that'.”
Cutifani said he would undertake to remain open-minded about all possibilities and, together with his team, ensure that they understood how to identify value in opportunities and execute a transaction, a project or a deal in such a way that they can deliver on that value.
“So, Anglo American, a diversified portfolio, focused on value to shareholders, to employees, to stakeholders…that is what a sustainable mining business in terms of creating value has to be about,” he added.