African Minerals have just ended a high-level meeting in Sierra Leone pioneered by the new CEO, Keith Calder, where he told a three-day senior leadership conference made up of managers and heads of departments, that the company needs to rethink its strategies on production and supply of iron ore in 2013 and going forward.
Calder, who was most recently chief executive of Western Coal, and had held several positions at Rio Tinto including as managing director, brings to African Minerals a new spirit of dynamism and management expertise as the company re-position itself to restore shareholder confidence, and boost its iron operations in the small West African state.
The new CEO left his audience mesmerized as he spelled out his company’s new idea to take personal and team accountability across operations, projects, health, safety and environmental services, sustainability and human resources. The company which boasts more than 9,000 local employees, stand to benefit immensely from the new CEO’s wealth of experience, and some have already expressed optimism and delight at his appointment. Speaking to Newstime Africa on Calder’s appointment , the company’s publicity supremo, Anthony Navo, said there has already been a dramatic transformation in how African Minerals run its operation since Calder’s arrival, and his ability to interact with local staff and get things done with utmost efficiency, has boosted morale and confidence in the company.
Keith’s key operational executive management positions at Rio Tinto were at Northparkes, Palabora, Las Cruces, Neves Corvo and Comsur, and he led a mining task force to realise a step change in orebody knowledge and strategic mine planning capability across the Group. During his time as CEO of Western Coal, he initiated a recapitalisation and expansion programme which saw production increase from 2.3Mtpa to 6.0Mtpa within one year, with further planned growth to 12Mtpa. This expansion saw the market capitalisation of Western Coal increase from $600m to $3.4Bn. He has a reputation of getting things done, and following the meeting, staff who were contacted to comment on the outcome of the conference said they most of what was put forward, was enough to engender an opportunity for locals and expatriates and deepen their sense of commitment to building a world class iron ore company.
African Minerals have made a huge contribution towards Sierra Leone’s Agenda for Change by embarking on establishing health centers, educational institutions and social services for the vulnerable in all its areas of operation and beyond. The company’s Chairman, Frank Timis, has made it his commitment to improve the lives of members of the local community, and recently made a generous donation towards the country’s 5oth independence anniversary celebrations.
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