Another miner changes chiefs: Newmont boss steps down

The company in charge of Australia's two biggest gold mines, American giant Newmont Mining, has joined the list of big miners to seek a change of leadership.

Newmont announced overnight that chief executive Richard O'Brien will step down after more than five years in the job, and will be replaced by an internal candidate, Gary Goldberg.

Newmont is the largest gold producer in the US, owns the massive Boddington mine in the southern parts of Western Australia and half of the Superpit in Kalgoorlie Boulder.

The company's global portfolio also includes the Jundee mine in WA, which, based on production figures for the September quarter, was Australia's fifth-biggest producing gold mine. While he has retired from the Newmont board, it was unclear whether Mr O'Brien plans to retire from work altogether.

Should he wish to continue in corporate life, there is no shortage of plum jobs expected to become available at the big end of the mining sector, which has been flush with change in recent months.

Anglo American is in the midst of an elongated search for a new chief executive to replace Cynthia Carroll.

Xstrata boss Mick Davis is set to depart once the final details of the merger with Glencore is completed, and BHP Billiton is rumoured to have recently accelerated succession plans for when Marius Kloppers steps down as chief executive.

Newmont told news agency Bloomberg that the change of leadership was "a reflection of succession planning, more than anything else".

"It's something we've been preparing for for some time."

Goldberg joined Newmont as chief operating officer in December 2011 from Rio Tinto, where he was chief executive of its industrial-minerals unit.

He was promoted to the role of president of the company in July.

Canadian-based analyst George Topping said Mr Goldberg's appointment appeared to have been planned for some time."It looks to me as if Gary Goldberg has been groomed for this position," Mr Topping said.

With Bloomberg

This story Another miner changes chiefs: Newmont boss steps down first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.