Following the departure of CEO Chris Griffith after more than seven years at the helm, Anglo American Platinum Ltd. (Amplats) has appointed his replacement from inside the company. Current Group Head of Processing for Anglo American Natascha Viljoen will take over on April 16.

Griffith decided to step down to pursue other career opportunities.

Chairman of Anglo American Platinum Norman Mbazima said, “Natascha is a seasoned senior executive, bringing 28 years of operational experience from across our mining industry, spanning many different countries, metals and minerals including, of course, the PGMs. She knows us and our business well, having worked with our executive team over the last five years in leading the changes required to transform the performance of — and commercial value from — our processing operations.”

Prior to joining Anglo American, Viljoen was executive vice president of processing at Lonmin while also leading the company’s sustainability, employee health, environmental and stakeholder relations work at various times. She began her career as an engineer at Iscor and, among other roles, took on leadership positions at AngloGold and was general manager of BHP’s Klipspruit Colliery before joining Lonmin in 2008.

She and her team are recognized for their work in developing coarse particle recovery technology that enables the separation of metals from rock using a fraction of the energy and water of traditional methods, while increasing throughput and productivity.

Viljoen said, “I feel really excited to take on my new role at Anglo American Platinum and I am fortunate to inherit a business in such a strong position. Chris Griffith has reshaped our PGMs portfolio to be fit for the future and I believe we now have an opportunity to reimagine how we operate — in our mines and our host communities.”

Griffith called his time with Amplats, as “the pinnacle” of his 30-year career with Anglo American.

“We have made tremendous progress at Anglo American Platinum on many fronts, from safety improvements to successfully completing the significant restructuring and repositioning of the portfolio of assets, which continue to deliver industry-leading returns,” Griffith said. “After more than seven years at the helm, and given all that we as a team have achieved, this is now the natural time for the next generation of leadership to take this business forward and deliver further value.”