Cockerill quits Gold Fields

Robert Laing

Robert Laing

GOLD Fields' shares dropped nearly 6,5percent to an intra-day low of R111,50 after the chief executive, Ian Cockerill, announced that he was quitting the gold industry at the end of the month.

Cockerill will be replaced by the mining house's chief financial officer, Nick Holland, from May 1.

Shortly before Cockerill's resignation was announced on the stock exchange's news service, rival gold mining group Harmony disclosed that another Gold Fields executive, John Munro, was joining it to head its recently created uranium arm.

Gold Fields said the company that Cockerill planned to join would be announced this week.

Cockerill has headed South Africa's second largest gold producer for the past six years, overseeing its expansion into South America and African countries.

Cockerill said yesterday: "An intriguing opportunity came along sooner than expected."

The departure of two executives has resulted in a major management reshuffle at Gold Fields.

Terrence Goodlace, currently the executive vice-president and head of South African operations, will be appointed to the new position of chief operating officer.

Juan Luis Kruger, the senior vice-president and head of operations in Peru, will be appointed to the Gold Fields executive committee and will be responsible for South American operations.

Jimmy Dowsley, the senior vice-president for business development, will replace Munro as the head of corporate development.

Harmony said Munro had been appointed e chief executive officer of a uranium company created by a $420million (R3,4billion) transaction between itself and Pamodzi Resources Fund, First Reserve Corp and AMCI in December.