This week, the brilliant metallurgist, Ms. Natascha Viljoen, has emerged as InstinctBusiness Magazine’s “CEO OF THE WEEK” for the Month September 18th-24th, 2022 rankings.
Natascha Viljoen is a seasoned senior executive, bringing 28 years of operational experience from across the mining industry, spanning many different countries, metals and minerals including, of course, the PGMs.
Prior to her current appointment, Natascha was group head of Processing for Anglo American, a position she had held since 2014. This followed six years at Lonmin, where she served on the executive committee as executive vice president of Processing, also with responsibility for several wider corporate functions including sustainability.
InstinctBusiness CEO of the Week is a weekly accreditation of Top performing CEOs within the African region, following their achievements, outstanding service, industry experience, outstanding leadership, amongst other criteria.
Natascha Viljoen’s Educational Background
Viljoen holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree from North-West University, in South Africa, and an Executive Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Cape Town.
Natascha Viljoen’s Career
Natascha Viljoen began her career in 1991 at Iscor as a trainee engineer. She serves on advisory boards of the chemical engineering faculties at the South African universities of Cape Town, Stellenbosch and Queensland University’s JKMRC (Julius Kruttschnitt Mineral Research Centre) in Australia. She has served as a non-executive director on the board of Kumba Iron Ore.
Natascha is a metallurgical engineer and a member of the Anglo American plc group management committee. Prior to her current appointment, Natascha was group head of Processing for Anglo American, a position she had held since 2014. This followed six years at Lonmin, where she served on the executive committee as executive vice president of Processing, also with responsibility for several wider corporate functions including sustainability.
Prior to that, Natascha worked for BHP’s coal and chrome businesses in South Africa (including as general manager of BHP’s Klipspruit Colliery), the Modikwa joint venture between Anglo American Platinum and African Rainbow Minerals, and AngloGold. Natascha began her career in 1991 at Iscor as a trainee engineer.
Natascha Viljoen, as the CEO/Managing Director (MD) of Anglo American Platinum
Under Natascha’s leadership, her team has successfully leveraged and accelerated technology development and deployment to unlock the full potential of mineral endowments through processing, delivering significant financial value and competitive advantage. She and her team are recognised for their work in developing Coarse Particle Recovery technology which enables the separation of metals from rock using a fraction of the energy and water of traditional methods, while increasing throughput and productivity.
In 2020 and 2021 she was ranked among the top 50 in Forbes magazine’s Most Powerful Women International list. She was included on the list of 100 Global Inspirational Women in Mining in 2020. Natascha was in conversation with Mills Soko, Professor of International Business and Strategy at WBS.
Natascha became CEO of Anglo American Platinum, when the world was facing unprecedented times, yet, throughout the turbulence, she continued to ensure that the company continued to build its business for the future and remained focused on the next wave of value creation for all its stakeholders.
The initiatives she is overseeing include:
- Stimulating new markets and leveraging new capabilities through the company’s market-development activities;
- Embedding anti-fragility across the business to increase its ability to manage and thrive through major disruptions;
- Maximising value from the company’s core portfolio of mining and processing assets; and
- Becoming a leader in ESG in the mining sector by being a trusted partner in co-creating.
Over and above the phenomenal work that she is doing for the company, she still finds time to serve on advisory boards of the chemical engineering faculties at the South African universities of Cape Town and Stellenbosch, and Queensland University’s JKMRC (Julius Kruttschnitt Mineral Research Centre) in Australia.
Viljoen is married, with two children. She currently lives in Brisbane, but from April, she will be based in Johannesburg and work at Anglo Platinum’s head office in downtown Johannesburg.