It has been a year since Natascha Viljoen walked through the doors at Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) as its new CEO – a period described by industry colleague Bernard Swanepoel, a non-executive director of Amplats’ rival Impala Platinum, as one that “has been truly horrible” for her.
Swanepoel was speaking at his Joburg Indaba PGM industry day, an online conference, where he wanted to know from Viljoen how difficult it was to compete for capital in the Anglo American group, which is an 80% shareholder of Amplats, as the group had so many high-quality assets spread across the world.
Owing to the ever-improving “optics” of the PGM basket price – which includes not just platinum and palladium, but high-riding metals such as rhodium and now iridium – Amplats can offer up an impressive business case in having its projects approved. In any case, as the former head of processing at Anglo since 2014, Viljoen understands how the group works.
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