Pieter van Greunen

14th February 2020

By: Martin Creamer

Creamer Media Editor


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Full Name: Pieter van Greunen

Position: GM: Gamsberg, Vedanta Zinc International

Main Activity of the Company: Opencast zinc mining and zinc concentration

Date and Place of Birth: June 4, 1970, Bellville, Western Cape, South Africa

Education: MBA, University of Potchefstroom, 2002; BSc (Hons) (mechanical engineering), University of Pretoria, 1999; national higher diploma (extractive metallurgy), Vaal Triangle Technikon, 1994; Oudtshoorn High School, 1988

First Job: Metallurgist at Freegold, Welkom

Size of First Pay Packet: R 1 000 a month

Career Path to Date: 2013 to 2019: De Beers – head of metallurgy, loss prevention and security: South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Canada, the UK, India, Europe, China and the US; 2009 to 2013: Anglo American – head of asset optimisation: Africa, Australia and South America; 2002 to 2009: the Namzinc operation of Anglo Base Metals, in Namibia, as assistant to the GM, refinery manager, metallurgical manager, operations manager, production manager and plant manager; 2001 to 2002: Ergo, AngloGold Ashanti – plant production superintendent and plant manager; 1994 to 2001: AngloGold Welkom – plant manager, plant production superintendent and metallurgist

Value of Assets under Your Control: 4.4-million tons of ore, 31-million tons of waste and 250 000 t of zinc concentrate

Number of People under Your Leadership: 900

Management Style: Safety first, collaborative, inclusive, people focused, community focused, technical excellence

Personal Best Achievement: Meeting Ezelle and having two great children, and completing the TransBaviaans Mountain Bike Race

Person Who Has Had the Biggest Influence on Your Life: My mother

Person Who Has Had the Biggest Influence on Your Career: There have been so many, but, if I have to choose one, it would be Uncle Ben, my first plant manager at Freegold, who taught me the values of mining and what it means for people and families

Person You Would Most Like to Meet: The younger me. There are so many things we learn daily and forget to learn again – I would advise my younger self to make more time for people and for myself

Businessperson Who Has Impressed You Most: Elon Musk

Philosophy of Life: Be true to yourself and pay it forward

Biggest Ever Opportunity: Receiving a bursary to study engineering

Biggest Ever Disappointment: Missing out on becoming a plant manager at 28 – this propelled my career and I started to work to develop myself

Hope for the Future: I believe in South Africa and want to play a major role in developing this country and its people

Favourite Reading: Diamonds, Gold, and War, by Martin Meredith

Favourite TV Programme: Sports

Favourite Food/Drink: Bunny Chow, braai vleis/red wine

Favourite Music: The 80s, Israel Kamakawiwo‘ole

Favourite Sport: Cricket

Hobbies: Scuba diving, mountain biking and long-range precision shooting

Car: A 1970 VW Kombi and a Fortuner 4 x 4

Pets: Molly, a Labrador, and Trixie, a Doberman pinscher

Married: To Ezelle Van Greunen (née Van Aarde)

Children: Anke, 22; Gunter, 19

Clubs: Golf and Lawn Bowls Club, Aggeneys

Edited by Martin Zhuwakinyu
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor


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