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Mike Fraser appointed Gold Fields CEO

Mike Fraser

Mike Fraser

9th October 2023

By: Tasneem Bulbulia

Senior Contributing Editor Online

     

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JSE- and NYSE-listed Gold Fields has appointed Mike Fraser CEO and executive director of the company with effect from January 1, 2024.

Fraser is currently CEO of Aim-listed Chaarat Gold Holdings. Prior to that, he was president and COO of South32’s key metal businesses.

He will take over from Martin Preece, who took up the position of interim CEO on January 1 this year, following the resignation of former CEO Chris Griffith. To ensure a seamless leadership transition, Preece will continue as interim CEO until December 31.

Preece will remain with the company thereafter as part of its executive management team, with further information to be announced in this regard.

Fraser, who is South African and holds a BComm and an MBA from the University of South Africa, will relocate to Johannesburg from London.

Following an early career in industrial services, Fraser joined the mining sector in 2001 in BHP’s human resources department. He rose through the ranks at BHP to head the Mozal aluminium smelter project, in Mozambique, in 2009, and thereafter was appointed the group’s human resources president, based in Melbourne.

When BHP created South32 in 2015, Fraser became president and COO of its global aluminium, nickel and South African manganese and energy coal businesses, a position he held until his appointment as CEO of Chaarat Gold in early 2022.

“On behalf of the board, I would like to welcome Mike to the Gold Fields team. We are delighted to have a seasoned executive of his talent join Gold Fields as the CEO.

“He brings a rich and unique mix of global operational and corporate experience and his track record of collaboration in delivering superior results in productivity, safety and culture ideally place him to lead our management team in taking our business forward,” says Gold Fields chairperson Yunus Suleman.

“It is indeed a great honour to join one of the world’s top gold mining companies, particularly one that has set the pace in so many areas, including operational performance, value creation and positive impact for its stakeholders.

“Gold Fields has in recent years transformed itself into a modern and global business that has embedded environmental, social and governance in its business and provides strong value to its stakeholders. I look forward to working with the Gold Fields team in continuing this successful journey,” Fraser says. 

In a conference call on October 9, Fraser said that while Gold Fields has enjoyed a good performance over the past decade, this can be bolstered further. 

He outlined that he would focus on the key priorities of the business, noting that there is a sound strategy in place that needs to be executed and delivered on. 

Fraser added that the focus for the company would be on delivering on key projects, such as the Salares Norte project, in Chile, where first gold is still expected to be poured in the fourth quarter of this year. 

He also noted that there would be "choices to be made" in time. 

Suleman thanked Preece for his role as interim CEO and for agreeing to stay on to ensure a smooth transition and continuing to provide his expertise to the company.

“Martin’s contribution to Gold Fields has been invaluable. He stepped into the role at the beginning of this year and has not only successfully steered the company through a time of significant change, but he also advanced many of our critical strategic objectives,” he averred.

Fraser would have a strong executive team supporting him, Gold Field said.

Since the beginning of last year, the company has appointed five new members of the executive team and the board has started the search for a CFO to succeed Paul Schmidt, who will be taking early retirement, as announced in August. Schmidt will also stay on to ensure a smooth transition to his replacement.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

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