Frank Timis, who had been running the iron ore miner since May, will become non-executive chairman when Keith Calder take over the reins as the new CEO. Shares in the company rose as much as 11 percent and were among the top percentage gainers on the London Stock Exchange.
“(West Africa) is mineral-rich. It is an area where we want to take a look and see where we can…diversify the organization,” Calder told Reuters.
African Minerals – the largest of West Africa’s emerging iron ore producers that sits on one of the continent’s largest iron ore deposits – said Calder was most recently chief executive of Western Coal. He earlier held several positions at Rio Tinto Plc, including that of the managing director of some copper projects.
African Minerals has recently been criticised over worker deaths at its Tonkolili mine in Sierra Leone (see http://www.minesandcommunities.org/article.php?a=11661, http://londonminingnetwork.org/2012/05/african-minerals-condemned-in-sierra-leone/ and http://londonminingnetwork.org/2012/06/sierra-leone-police-probed-for-response-during-iron-ore-mine-strike/).
Rio Tinto has a long history of disputes with workers and communities.