The head of global gold mining giant AngloGold Ashanti (Other OTC: AULGF - news) is on the verge of being named as the new chief executive of Anglo American (LSE: AAL.L - news) , the FTSE100 mining giant.
The Sunday Telegraph understands that Mark Cutifani is the leading candidate to replace Cynthia Carroll at the helm of the company.
Ms Carroll announced her intention to step down last October, bowing to shareholder pressure. Australian-born Mr Cutifani is understood to be the board’s favoured choice, although his appointment has yet to be formally voted on.
A senior source indicated that, barring any last-minute hitches, his appointment to the role is a formality.
Suggestions that an announcement concerning his new role could be made within a fortnight were downplayed, with one source saying that the timing of any announcement remained uncertain.
Mr Cutifani joined AngloGold in 2007, having previously been chief operating officer of Inco of Canada, which is now part of Vale.
A mining engineer by training, he is credited with reducing the number of deaths at AngloGold as part of a crackdown on dangerous practices.
The Daily Telegraph first revealed in August last year that investors were unhappy with Ms Carroll, noting that several of the miner’s largest institutional investors had asked the chairman, Sir John Parker, to find a replacement.
Concerns were said to include the miner’s profitability, its continued dependence on South Africa, and cost overruns on major projects. The results of a review into Amplats, Anglo American’s South African platinum mining division, are understood to be planned for release this month.
The review was launched in February 2012 as the business struggled with the pressures of reduced demand for platinum due to slowing car production, escalating running costs and labour unrest in South Africa.
The company is likely to mothball or even sell parts of its operations in the country.
Any plans to close mines risk provoking further unrest in South Africa, which was hit by violent strikes in 2012.
An Anglo American spokesman declined to comment.