South Africa: From Records to Rodents - Gold Fields Chief Chris Griffith Needs Operation Chinchilla to Succeed

Chris Griffith, who took over as chief executive of Gold Fields in April, has had a varied career as a mining executive, including stints as CEO of Kumba Iron Ore and Anglo American Platinum (Amplats).

Chris Griffith oversaw a payout of R2.665-billion to more than 6,000 Kumba workers a decade ago after the maturing of a broad-based share participation scheme, which remains one of the best examples of BBBEE in South Africa's mining sector.

At Amplats, he steered the corporate ship through the storm of the violent five-month Amcu strike in 2014. He subsequently led Amplats on a mechanisation drive that saw the company significantly improve its health and safety record while boosting productivity. The company's recent set of record earnings on the back of record prices is testimony to the wisdom of that strategy.

At Gold Fields, Griffith has taken the helm of a precious metals producer that followed a similar path under former CEO Nick Holland. Gold Fields spun off its labour-intensive South African gold operations into Sibanye - now the highly profitable and diversified juggernaut that is Sibanye-Stillwater - as it pivoted to mechanised operations on a global scale.

That trajectory has taken the company high up...

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