Anglo appoints Mkhwanazi as Bulk Commodities head; Zikalala as Kumba CEO

Anglo American subsidiary Kumba Iron Ore has appointed Mpumi Zikalala CEO.

Zikalala, currently MD of De Beers Managed Operations, succeeds Themba Mkhwanazi, who has been appointed CEO of Anglo’s global Bulk Commodities business following the decision of Seamus French to leave the group after 14 years.


Both appointments will take effect on January 1, 2022.

Zikalala’s successor at De Beers Managed Operations will be confirmed in due course.


Further, Ruben Fernandes, Anglo American Base Metals CEO, will also take on accountability for the iron-ore and nickel operations in Brazil.

As planned, the Quellaveco copper operation, in Peru, will also move to the Base Metals portfolio once it is commissioned.

Anglo says this streamlining of responsibilities will allow Fernandes to maximise efficiencies across all of its operations in South America, alongside his global strategic responsibilities for base metals.

“I am delighted that the Kumba board has appointed Mpumi Zikalala as the new CEO of Kumba. Mpumi will join the Kumba board as an executive director and brings over 20 years of mining experience, having started her career as a chemical engineering bursar at Anglo American and having held a number of senior operational and commercial leadership roles at De Beers.

“Her appointment is another demonstration of our commitment as a business towards nurturing and supporting the success of women. We look forward to her leadership in advancing the strategic and operational aspirations of Kumba,” Kumba chairperson Terence Goodlace says.

“It is a privilege to be appointed CEO of Kumba. My focus will be to build on Kumba’s strong safety and operational performance track record, strengthening strategic partnerships and unlocking further value from the business,” Zikalala indicates.

Goodlace says that, through Mkhwanazi’s leadership of excellence and collaboration with stakeholders, he successfully led the development and implementation of the Tswelelopele strategy that has transformed the business and delivered significant value to its wide range of stakeholders, including its host communities.

Mkhwanazi will remain on the Kumba board as a nonexecutive director.

Mkhwanazi says he looks forward to his new role and collaborating with partners and stakeholders across Anglo’s broader Bulk Commodities businesses.

“My focus will continue to be on safe, responsible production and playing our role in our drive towards cleaner steelmaking using our premium quality iron-ore and met coal and working with partners on new steelmaking technologies,” he notes.