Newmont makes leadership changes to facilitate Newcrest integration

2nd October 2023 By: Mariaan Webb - Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

Newmont makes leadership changes to facilitate Newcrest integration

Natascha Viljoen is the new COO of Newmont

US-based major Newmont has announced several leadership appointments as it gears up to operate an expanded portfolio of assets and projects with the A$26-billion Newcrest transaction set to close in the current quarter.

Natascha Viljoen is starting in her new position as COO on Tuesday, preparing to assume accountability for the Australian, North American and Papua New Guinea business units on November 1. 

In addition to managing Newmont’s existing assets, the former Anglo American Platinum CEO will oversee critical activities associated with incorporating Newcrest’s people and assets into Newmont, following the completion of the acquisition.  

Newmont says Rob Atkinson will continue to lead the Africa, Peru, and Latin America and Caribbean (formally South America) business units, as well as global projects, and support the transition of critical operational integration activities. 

Viljoen will 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.

As part of efforts to establish a dedicated business unit in Papua New Guinea, Alwyn Pretorius will assume the role of MD Papua New Guinea, reporting to Viljoen. He will be based in Port Moresby. 

Newmont states that Pretorius, who previously led Newmont’s Africa and South America business units, has extensive operational and leadership experience with a strong ability to partner with community and key stakeholders, ensuring the orderly integration of the Lihir operation and the Wafi-Golpu joint venture into Newmont’s portfolio.

Upon completion of the Newcrest transaction in the fourth quarter, the Australia region will have a significantly increased operational and strategic importance to Newmont’s global portfolio. To support this, Suzy Retallack will take on the responsibility of executive Australia, in addition to her current role as chief safety and sustainability officer. Based in Perth, Retallack will represent Newmont with key industry bodies in Australia, playing a role in policy development and advocacy, while prioritising strategic activities that unify and enhance the existing strong reputation of Newmont in Australia.

“These new appointments will allow Newmont to safely and efficiently make decisions to deliver the integration of Newcrest and ensure long-term world-class leadership across the larger business. Our future expanded portfolio will require strong and experienced leadership to support and care for our people, neighbours, stakeholders, and assets for years to come,” said CEO Tom Palmer.

Speaking at the Denver Gold Forum recently, Palmer highlighted how Newmont was leveraging valuable insights gained from successfully integrating Goldcorp just over four years ago.

When Newmont acquired Goldcorp in 2019, the group committed to delivering yearly synergies of $165-million through its ‘full potential’ programme, which improves costs and productivity through the rapid replication of leading processes and advanced technology. The company had "blown that target out of the water".

The deal still awaits the Newcrest shareholder vote, scheduled for October 13.

If the deal goes through, Newcrest shareholders will receive 0.400 of a Newmont share for each share, with an implied value of A$29.27 a share.