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10 female mining tycoons in South Africa worth knowing

South Africa’s mining sector is a notable driver of the economy, employing a significant portion of its workforce.



South African businesswoman Thandi Orleyn.

South Africa is one of the world’s largest mining nations, with a significant amount of mineral deposits, including diamond, gold, platinum and coal.

Heavy with natural minerals and metals, it is widely regarded as Africa’s most industrialized nation. Although South Africa’s diamond and gold sectors have declined from their peaks, the country still ranks fifth in global gold production. 

The South African mining sector is a notable driver of the economy, employing a significant portion of the country’s workforce. However, it is largely male-dominated, with women having little representation.

Until recent years, the number of women operating in the sector has been minimal. Currently, the figure is less than 20 percent. However, the few women who do represent female workers in the segment have succeeded in earning the respect of their male counterparts by taking on critical leadership roles.

Below is a list of 10 female mining tycoons in South Africa who are setting the tone for the next generation of women through dedication, hard work, passion and resilience. 

Although the list is not exhaustive, it acknowledges the amazing women who are making a mark on the South African mining industry.

Below is a list of 10 female mining tycoons in South Africa who are setting a pace for the sector:

#1 Nolitha Fakude

Holdings: Anglo American (South Africa)

Office: Chairperson 

Nolitha Fakude was appointed chairperson of the Management Board of South Africa for Anglo American in 2019. She is a trustee of the Women’s Development Bank.

Before her appointment, she served as an executive director of Sasol, non-executive director of Harmony Gold, managing director and former president of the Black Management Forum (BMF), vice president of Minerals Council South Africa and chairperson of the Women in Mining Leadership Forum. 

#2 Maria Ramos

Holdings: AngloGold Ashanti

Office: Chairperson 

Maria Ramos is a South African businesswoman, banker and corporate executive. She assumed office as the chairperson of AngloGold Ashanti in 2020. 

AngloGold Ashanti is a global gold mining company with operations, projects and exploration activities in 10 countries on four continents.

Prior to her appointment, she served as CEO of Absa Group Limited and CEO of Transnet.

#3 Natacha Viljoen

Holdings: Anglo American Platinum

Office: CEO

Natacha Viljoen is the CEO of Anglo American Platinum, the world’s leading primary producer of Platinum Group Metals (PGMs). The company provides a complete resource-to-market service, supplying global customers with a range of mined, recycled and traded products. 

#4 Nombasa Tsengwa  

Holding: Exxaro

Office: CEO

Exxaro appointed Nombasa Tsengwa as CEO in March, succeeding Mxolisi Mgojo, effective May 1.

Exxaro is a diversified energy company listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. It operates in the Mpumalanga and Limpopo regions, where the country’s highest coal resource concentrations can be found.

It also operates facilities and offices in Africa, Asia, Europe and Australia.

#5 Zanele Matlala

Holdings: Merafe Resources 

Office: CEO

Matlala is the CEO and executive director of Merafe Resources Limited.

Merafe is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in the general mining sector. Its main focus is its wholly-owned subsidiary, Merafe Ferrochrome and Mining (Pty) Limited. 

Matlala holds the position of chairman of Stefanutti Stocks Holdings Limited and independent non-executive chairman at Dipula Income Fund Limited.

She is also on the board of seven other companies.

#6 Lindiwe Nakedi

Holding: Gubhani Exploration

Office: Founder / Managing Director

Lindiwe Nakedi is the CEO of a South African, 100-percent Black-female-owned exploration drilling company that she started with her geologist husband in 2008.

#7 Christine Ramon

Holding: AngloGold Ashanti

Office: Interim CEO / CFO

Christine Ramon is the group CFO of AngloGold Ashanti and was appointed interim CEO in 2020, following the resignation of former CEO Kelvin Dushnisky at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

#8 Thandi Orleyn 

Holding: Impala Platinum

Office: Chairperson

Thandi Orleyn serves as an independent non-executive director on the Impala Platinum board and as chairperson designate. She is a lawyer and business executive, who has actively served in the country’s financial sector.

She is a co-founder and executive director of Peotona Group Holdings and has served as a non-executive director of the South African Reserve Bank. 

She currently serves on the boards of BP Southern Africa, Reunert, Toyota South Africa and Ceramics Industries.

#9 Boipelo Lekubo

Holding: Harmony Gold 

Office: Financial Director

Lekubo was appointed financial director for Harmony Gold in March 2020. She joined the company as CFO in 2017. 

With a solid accounting background, she has extensive experience in group financial management and reporting within the mining industry. 

Lekubo was also CFO of Atlatsa Resources and financial manager of Northam Platinum Limited.

#10 Thabile Makgala

Holdings: Impala Platinum

Office: Executive, Mining

Thabile Makgala is an executive at Impala Platinum, with nearly 20 years of experience in the sector. She oversees two operations on the Eastern Limb of the Bushveld Igneous Complex in South Africa, with about 7,000 staff. 

She held top executive positions at Gold Fields, AngloGold Ashanti and Anglo American. 

In 2018, she was selected as one of the “Top-100 Global Inspirational Women in Mining.”

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Abu Dhabi-based Chimera acquires controlling stake in financial services provider linked to Egypt’s richest family

It is unclear how much of the 59.22 percent stake held by Orascom Financial Holding, a firm led by the billionaire Sawiris family, was acquired during the transaction.



Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris

Chimera Investment, an Abu Dhabi-based firm led by Pakistani businessman Syed Basar Shueb, has announced the purchase of a majority stake in Beltone Financial Holding SAE, a Cairo-based financial services firm partially owned by Egypt’s richest family, the Sawiris.

According to a press release issued by the Abu Dhabi-based firm, a total of 55.9 percent of Beltone’s shareholding was acquired at a price of EGP1.485 ($0.0779) per share, bringing the total transaction value to EGP370 million ($19.3 million).

It is unclear how much of the 59.22-percent stake held by Orascom Financial Holding, a firm led by the Egyptian billionaire Sawiris family, was acquired during the share-purchase transaction. However, it is clear that Chimera is now the majority shareholder in Beltone as a result of the recent deal.

Syed Basar Shueb, chairman of Chimera Investment, commented on the transaction, stating that it aligns with Chimera’s broader strategy of long-term value creation investments and expands the company’s presence in regional economies.

He went on to state that, in the coming months, the Abu Dhabi-based firm will look to unlock value and implement an all-encompassing transformation plan aimed at restoring Beltone’s growth and profitability.

In addition to the transaction, Dalia Khorshid, the chairwoman and CEO of MASAR Financial Advisory, a regional financial advisory firm, was appointed as the new CEO of Beltone, as the Egyptian firm enters a new phase of growth under new management.

“I am honored by the opportunity to lead Beltone’s strategic transformation plan,” Khorshid said in response to her recent appointment as CEO. “I am confident that we will restructure and grow this institution to become a major market leader in the region and a solid platform for attracting international investments into our host markets.”

Beltone, a financial services provider in Egypt and the Middle East and North Africa, was founded in 2006 to provide brokerage, investment banking, asset management, equity research, and a variety of non-banking financial services like leasing, consumer finance, and venture capital platforms.

In a $1.3-million deal nearly a year ago, Orascom Financial Holding, led by Egypt’s Sawiris family, reduced its stake in Beltone to 59.22 from 61.24 percent.

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Ardova dismisses winding-up order, as Femi Otedola’s Zenon serves majority shareholder petition over $6-million debt

The once promising relationship between Otedola’s Zenon and Abdulwasiu Sowami’s Prudent Energy has taken a new turn.



Femi Otedola. ©Billionaires.Africa

Arodva Plc, a Nigerian oil and gas marketing company majority owned by Nigerian businessman Abdulwasiu Sowami, has denied reports that it is facing a winding-up petition over a $6-million debt owed to Zenon Petroleum & Gas Limited, an oil company founded by billionaire businessman Femi Otedola.

The news comes as the once promising relationship between Otedola’s Zenon and Sowami’s Prudent Energy, Ardova’s majority shareholder, takes a new turn over the debt.

The oil company stated in a press release on Tuesday that its management’s attention has been drawn to recent media claims regarding the debt, and it is critical to set the record straight that no winding-up petitions are presently facing the company in relation to the 2019 transaction.

The company went on to state that the current issues are related to claims and warranties made under a share-purchase agreement between Prudent Energy and Zenon for the purchase of shares in Forte Oil Plc in a $200-million deal in 2019.

The management went on to state that Ardova is not party to any of the proceedings, that the proceedings have no bearing on the company’s rights or operations, and that it has no claims against its assets.

Zenon, which has a guarantee for the prompt payment of the debt, served Prudent Energy with a petition earlier this week, more than a month after the deferred consideration, which was due on June 18, had yet to be paid despite demand letters sent to Sowami.

Experts believe that the dispute will reignite debate over Ardova’s share ownership structure.

The $6-million debt, which represents the remaining purchase consideration for the Forte Oil stake, adds to Prudent Energy’s pressures, as shares in Ardova, the company that it acquired nearly three years ago, have fallen significantly from an average price of N23.6 ($0.055) per share in 2019 to N13 ($0.0305) per share at the time of writing this report.

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Nigerian billionaire Abdul Samad Rabiu and son receive $151.6 million in dividends from food business

Just three weeks ago, the Nigerian billionaire received a massive $208-million dividend from BUA Cement.



Abdul Samad Rabiu. ©Billionaires.Africa

Nigerian billionaire industrialist Abdul Samad Rabiu and his son received a N62.9-billion ($151.6 million) dividend from his stake in BUA Foods Plc, his newly consolidated food conglomerate that maintains active operations in the food and agro-allied industries.

This comes nearly three weeks after the billionaire received a massive N86.5-billion ($208 million) dividend from his cement company, BUA Cement Plc, as part of cash rewards paid to shareholders.

The $151.6-million dividend, which was electronically deposited into his bank account on Thurs., Aug. 4, represents the majority of the N152-billion ($63 million) final dividend distribution approved by BUA Cement shareholders at the group’s annual general meeting.

With the recent payout from his consolidated food business, Rabiu, who has a $5.8-billion net worth, has now received a total dividend of $359.6 million from his publicly traded businesses this year, which is significantly more than the $157 million that he received last year.

BUA Foods’ multimillion-dollar dividend is the company’s first dividend payment since its shares were listed earlier this year on Jan. 5. The cash reward that shareholders received can be attributed to the company’s stellar performance during its 2021 fiscal year.

According to the group’s financial statement, which represents its first annual report since its shares were listed on the Nigerian Exchange over three months ago, BUA Foods’ profit rose by 97.05 percent, from N35.41 billion ($85.2 million) in 2020 to N69.76 billion ($167.84 million) in 2021.

Despite a decrease in its fortified sugar sales, BUA Foods reported a 13.72-percent increase in profit in the first half of 2022, owing to an 11.3-percent increase in revenue from N151.73 billion ($364.4 million) to N168.85 billion ($405.5 million).

Revenue growth was driven by higher non-fortified sugar and flour sales, which offset lower fortified sugar sales during the period under review.

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