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These South African Mine CEOs Earn Up to R685,000 Per Day

Remuneration reports from South Africa’s top 5 biggest mining companies revealed their CEOs’ massive salaries in 2023, with some earning triple that of the best-paid banking CEOs.

According to the Minerals Council of South Africa, the mining sector is an important contributor to South Africa’s fiscus and its citizens.

Over the last financial year, the South African mining industry contributed R425.6 billion or 6.2% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Also Read: South African Man Replaces Dangote As Africa’s Richest

Additionally, the sector added more than 7,500 jobs last year, employing 477,000 people.

However, despite the encouraging numbers, the council added that the industry is facing major headwinds in South Africa.

“Towards the end of 2023 and into 2024, several companies announced restructuring processes to reposition themselves with the reduced electricity availability, severe rail constraints, harbour delays, and a downturn in the prices of coal and platinum group metals (PGMs),” it said.

PGM sales generated an estimated R199 billion in 2023, a 33.3% decline from the previous

CEO pay

Despite the Minerals Council’s warnings, the mining industry’s overall financial performance and contribution to the economy in 2023 meant that the relevant CEOs received massive paydays.

BusinesTech looked at the five biggest mining companies by market capitalisation listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) to see what their CEOs earned last year.

These companies are BHP Billiton, Glencore, Anglo American, Gold Fields, and South32.

It must be noted that some of these companies are multinational, meaning their remuneration figures were presented in dollars ($) or pounds (£).

To standardise the salaries offered in this article, the total remuneration amounts were converted to rands using the applicable exchange rate as of 16 May 2024.

BHP Billiton’s Chief Executive Mike Henry, the top-paid mining CEO on this list, earned a whopping $13.7 million (R249.5 million) in 2023.

This figure includes base salary, short-term incentives, cash bonuses, benefits, and long-term incentive plans.

This is 2.7 times more than Nedbank CEO Mike Brown’s salary (R92 million) and three times more than Standard Bank CEO’s R83 million.

Of the five CEOs, Gold Fields Chief Executive Martin Preece took home the ‘smallest’ amount of R51 million.

However, it must be noted that, as of 1 January 2024, Mike Fraser assumed the role of Gold Fields CEO, succeeding Martin Preece, who served as Interim CEO in 2023 following Chris Griffith’s resignation in 2022.

Preece remains with the company as Chief Operating Officer.

It must also be noted that the preceding economic conditions of 2023 also resulted in notable pay cuts for all the CEOs on this list.

The table below outlines what these CEOs earned in 2023 and how that translates per day.

# Company CEO Total remuneration Average per day
1 BHP Billiton Mike Henry $13.7 million (R249.5 million) R684 650
2 Glencore Gary Nagle $5.8 million (R105.7 million) R289 589
3 Anglo American Duncan Wanblad £3.6 million (R83.1 million) R227 671
4 South32 Graham Kerr AUS$6.1 million (R74.2 million) R203 288
5 Gold Fields Martin Preece $2.8 million (R51 million) R139 726

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