April 16, 2018 / 6:25 AM / 2 years ago

Vedanta names South African miner AngloGold Ashanti's CEO to top job

(Reuters) - Diversified miner Vedanta Resources Plc VED.L on Monday named South African miner AngloGold Ashanti Ltd’s (ANGJ.J) Srinivasan Venkatakrishnan as chief executive officer.

Venkatakrishnan’s appointment comes as a rebound in metals prices has prompted the miner to expand production of zinc and aluminium, enabling it to continue its recovery after being particularly hard hit by the commodities slump that ended in 2016.

However, the company has been facing protests against a proposed expansion of the company’s copper smelting plant in southern India and said last month it would take a charge up to $600 million (£421 million) due to the closure of its iron ore business in the country.

Venkatakrishnan, who worked with AngloGold for 18 years and led it for five, will succeed interim CEO Kuldip Kaura, in the top job effective Aug. 31, Vedanta said.

Under Venkatakrishnan’s leadership, AngloGold beat or met market expectation for five years with all in-sustaining-costs falling 16 percent and production rising 26 percent, the company said. However, shares of the company feel nearly 34 percent in the period.

Kaura was named as Vedanta’s interim CEO in August as the company hunted for a new head to replace Tom Albanese, who was asked to delay his departure by five months.

Shares in Vedanta fell almost 20 percent while Albanese held the top job and have moved down about 3 percent since his departure.

Reporting by Arathy S Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Edmund Blair and Louise Heavens

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