November 9, 2015 / 10:31 AM / in 5 years

South Africa's Harmony Gold names Sasol's Steenkamp as chief executive

JOHANNESBURG, Nov 9 (Reuters) - South Africa’s Harmony Gold has appointed Peter Steenkamp to replace Graham Briggs as chief executive of the bullion firm, the company said on Monday.

Steenkamp, 55, was previously the chief operating officer of Harmony for four years and most recently the senior vice president of mining at petrochemicals company Sasol. Briggs had announced his retirement in July.

Harmony, which along with other gold producers, is battling low prices and rising costs which have squeezed profit margins.

“The company (Harmony) has demonstrated its resilience during recent challenging times and has been positioned for profitability by the management team,” he said in a statement.

Steenkamp will be faced with managing Harmony’s aging South African mines, slashing debt while investing in the development of its Golpu mine in Papua New Guinea.

Steenkamp will take the reins from Briggs, who has served at chief executive since 2008, on Jan. 1. (Reporting by Zandi Shabalala; Editing by James Macharia)

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