De Beers Group has announced an initiative to consolidate its mining assets in South Africa and Canada into one business called De Beers Group Managed Operations. The new business will streamline operational management and identify synergies to create a more sustainable business in the two countries.
De Beers Group Managed Operations will bring the Venetia mine, the Gahcho Kué mine and De Beers Marine under one leadership team. The restructuring was necessitated by the company’s reduced mining footprint in South Africa and Canada due to the closures of the Snap Lake and Voorspoed mines, along with the imminent closure of Victor mine during May 2019.
Nompumelelo (Mpumi) Zikalala will be appointed to the new role of Managing Director for De Beers Group Managed Operations, based in Johannesburg. She will move from her current role as Deputy Chief Executive Officer, DBCM, to take responsibility for the restructure. She will be supported by Allan Rodel, in the newly created role of Head of Operations, and a management team based in Johannesburg, but with additional support services in Canada.
Zikalala is an accomplished leader with more than 18 years’ experience in the mining industry. She began her career as an Ore Processing Engineer at the Cullinan diamond mine in 2001, and has held numerous roles as General Manager for De Beers Kimberley Mines and Voorspoed mine, and as Senior Vice-President for De Beers Sightholder Sales South Africa. In her role as Deputy CEO, DBCM, she has been responsible for the De Beers Group South Africa strategy and consolidating and simplifying its businesses in the country.
Bruce Cleaver, CEO, De Beers Group, said: “We are delighted to appoint Mpumi into this new and vitally important position to focus on growing a profitable and sustainable business in both South Africa and Canada. Our businesses in these countries face very different challenges and require a leader of Mpumi’s skill, vision and experience to maximise their full potential. I am personally very pleased to see her step into this role, which she does with my full support.”
Speaking about her appointment, Zikalala said: “I am very excited to be taking on the role of Managing Director, Managed Operations. Canada and South Africa are both hugely important to the future of De Beers Group and we want to continue to grow and invest in both countries. I am looking forward to working with the teams and am very grateful to have the support of Allan Rodel, who has a wealth of experience in both the South African and Canadian mining industries.”
Zikalala’s role will replace those currently held by Phillip Barton, CEO, DBCM, and Kim Truter, CEO, De Beers Canada, who will both leave the organisation to focus on new opportunities. Barton has been with De Beers Group for more than 30 years and has played a key role in mentoring Zikalala and developing her as his successor. Truter joined De Beers Group in 2015 as CEO of De Beers Canada, bringing with him 30 years of mining experience. His achievements at the company include bringing the Gahcho Kué mine into operation in 2016 and the acquisition of the Chidliak project in 2018.
Zikalala holds a BSc in Chemical Engineering from the University of Witwatersrand and is a graduate of the London Business School Emerging Leaders Programme. She is a non-executive Board Director of De Beers Sightholder Sales South Africa and has also served as Executive Director for various organisations, including the Black Management Forum and Mintek.