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About Us - Leadership Team

Samancor Chrome's leaders are dynamic and visionary. Discover a little more about them:

Chief Executive Officer - Jrgen Schalamon

Jrgen started his career in Germany as a Mechanical Engineer in 1985. Four years later he joined Elektrowerk Weisweiler (EWW) as an engineer on furnaces. He later progressed to the position of plant manager. In 1998, he became the Managing Director of EWW and held the position until 2010. Because of EWW's good fit with Kermas' portfolio, and his keenness to accept new challenges, Jrgen joined Danko Konchar and the Kermas Group in 2004 to take on the additional role of Technical Director, a position he held until the end of 2009. In doing so, he found himself in a streamlined organisation marked by quick decision-making and exceptional entrepreneurial and strategic thinking. He was appointed as the CEO of Samancor Chrome Limited in 2005 - the year in which Kermas became the majority shareholder in the company. In November 2009 he was also appointed as the COO of International Mineral Resources, a duty he fulfills in addition to his role as CEO of Samancor Chrome Limited.

 

Chief Financial Officer - Wessel Erasmus

Wessel is a qualified chartered accountant who started his career as an Article Clerk at Deloitte Haskins and Sells (now Deloitte) in the Johannesburg office from where he was recruited into Samancor during the latter part of 1995. During the period he has taken on several leading roles and responsibilities, including the positions as Divisional Financial Manager of Chrome in 1998 and later as the Finance Manager for Samancor Chrome in 2001. During his tenure in Chrome he has been a key member of the teams involved in the setting up the chrome joint ventures, the de-listing of Samancor Limited from the local stock exchange and subsequent restructure of Samancor Limited into the Chrome and Manganese operating divisions, as well as working with the team responsible for listing Billiton on the LSE. Wessel was also involved with the split of Samancor Limited into two separate legal entities and the sale of the Chrome assets.  He has been in his current position since 2006. 

 

Chief Operations Officer - Desmond McManus

Desmond holds a Bachelor in Engineering (Extractive Metallurgy) , as well as an MBL (Masters in Business Leadership) Degree from UNISA. His past working experience includes being a Production Superintendent as Assmang Manganese's Cato Ridge Works, before joining Samancor Chrome as a Production Superintendent at Tubatse Ferrochrome in 2002. In 2005, he was promoted to the position of Operations Manager of Tubatse Ferrochrome. In 2008, he was promoted to General Manager of Tubatse Ferrochrome. Desmond has been in his current position since 1 January 2013.

 

General Manager, Eastern Chrome Mines - Emile Britz

Emile holds a qualification in Metalliferous Mines, a Mine Manager's certificate of competency and a MDP from Stellenbosch University. His previous working experience includes 25 years of experience at JCI after which he joined Xstrata in 2002 and became the General Manager of Eastern Mines in June 2005. Before he joined Samancor Chrome, Emile was employed as the General Manager (SHEQT) at Redpath Mining. He has been in his current position since March 2010.

 
 
General Manager, Western Chrome Mines - William Smart

William holds a qualification in Metalliferous Mines, a Mine Manager's certificate of competency and a MDP from Stellenbosch University. He was the Mine Manager at Xstratas Mototolo operation from 2005 - 2006, after which he became the General Manager at Platinum Australia SAs Smokey Hills operation in 2007. In 2012, he joined Platinum Australia SAs Head Office team as a General Manager, and was responsible for implementing new projects. William joined Eastern Chrome Mines in January 2013 as a Mine Manager before acting as General Manager at Western Chrome Mines. William has been in his current position since 1 August 2013.

 


General Manager, Ferrometals and Ferroveld - Ellie Wheal

Ellie holds a degree in Chemical Engineering and has a strong production background.  Her past working experience includes being a Raw Materials Superintendent at Assmang Chrome Machadodorp Works, as well as a Production Superintendent at Assmang Manganese Cato Ridge Works.  In 2007, Ellie moved to ASA Metals/Dilokong Chrome Mine to take up the position of Services and Logistics Manager, after which she later became Production Manager: Smelter Operation, followed by Director: Maroga Metal Recovery. Before she joined us, she was the General Manager: Smelter Operation a position she has held since December 2012. Ellie has been in her current position since 1 March 2014.

 

General Manager, TC Smelter - Andor Esbach

Andor holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering Degree from the University of Potchefstroom. He received his Government Certificate of Competency for Factories in 2002 and is registered as a Professional Engineer with the Engineering Council of South Africa. Andor has experience in the steel and ferroalloy industry including pelletising and sintering plants and submerged arc furnaces. His experience also includes the management of coke batteries and smelter operations in the platinum industry. Andor joined Samancor Chrome as the General Manager at Tubatse Ferrochrome in January 2013, and was appointed as the General Manager at TC Smelter on 1 September 2016. 

 

General Manager, Middelburg Ferrochrome - Willie Botha

Willie holds a degree in Chemical Engineering. His past working experience includes being a General Manager of Xstrata Alloys in eMalahleni, before moving to Xstrata Lydenburg plant to take up the position of Works Manager, after which he was later promoted to General Works Manager. Willie has been in his current position since 1 April 2011.

 

Head of SHEQ - John Botha

John holds a B-Tech Degree in Safety Management and started his career as an Artisan at Anglo American in 1978 after which he joined the safety fraternity in 1988. He joined AVGOLD in 1999 as part of the project's SHEQ team at Target Division until the initiation of production in 2001. He spent two years at the Pechiney ALCAN Silicon Smelter's SHEQ Department in Polokwane after which he joined Samancor Chrome's Tubatse Ferrochrome operation as the SHEQ Manager. John was promoted to his current position in 2007.

 

Head of Corporate Affairs and Transformation - Archie Palane

Archie joined NUM in February1986 and in June 1995 he was elected General Secretary of the Southern African Miners Federation to coordinate mining unions across Southern Africa. In 1998 he was elected Deputy General Secretary of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), a position that he held from June 1998 till 2006. Before joining Samancor Chrome, he was the Executive Chairman at the Siyakhula Sonke Empowerment Corporation (SSC), and a director of Redpath and Sekgwa Mining Services. Archie joined Samancor Chrome in December 2007 as Group Transformation Manager and was later appointed as the Head of Corporate Affairs and Transformation -  the position he is currently holding.

 

Head of Human Capital and Development - Leandra van der Merwe

Leandra holds an Honours Degree in Psychology (UJ), an Honours Degree in Industrial Psychology (NWU), as well as an advanced certificate in Industrial Relations. Her past working experience includes being an Employee Relations Manager at Ingwe Koornfontein Mine before joining Samancor Chrome as an HR Superintendent at Middelburg Ferrochrome in 2003. In 2005, she was promoted to the position of HR Manager of Middelburg Ferrochrome. Leandra took up the position of Group Manager: Training and Development in August 2010, and was appointed as the Head of Human Capital and Development in January 2015.

 

Head of Business Development and Technology- Steph van Sittert

Steph holds a Bachelor in Engineering, as well as an MBL (Masters in Business Leadership) degree from UNISA. He holds a Government Certificate of Competency for Factories and is registered as a Professional Engineer with the Engineering Council of South Africa. His 20 years working experience includes senior management roles in the power generation and ferroalloy industry ranging from operational to project and business development responsibilities. Steph has been in his current position since 1 January 2014.

 

Group Procurement Manager - Stuart Reneke

Stuart holds a Bsc Chemical Engineering Degree,as well as an MBA. His career began in 1987 with De Beers (Finsch Mine) as an Assistant Plant Superintendent - Operations and Projects/R&D, after which he joined BHP Billiton's Hillside Aluminium Smelter as an Operations Superintendent (Carbon and Reduction Plants) later on becoming the Continuous Business Improvement Superintendent. In 2004 he joined Samancor Chrome as the Manager for Logistics Management and Pelletising Operations at Ferrometals after which he was promoted to his current position at Group Procurement Services in 2007.

 
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