Rio Tinto appoints Simon Thompson as new chairman

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FILE PHOTO - A sign adorns the building where mining company Rio Tinto has their office in Perth, Western Australia, November 19, 2015. REUTERS/David Gray/File Photo (Reuters)

Rio Tinto (RIO), one of the world’s largest mining companies, announced on Sunday it appointed industry-veteran Simon Thompson as chairman.

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Thompson joined the company’s board as non-executive director in 2014 and will begin his tenure in the position on March 5, 2018. He will replace Jan du Plessis, who will step down as chairman and from the company’s board on the same date. Du Plessis had served nearly nine years in the position.

The newly-appointed chairman has more than 20 years’ worth of experience working across five continents in the mining and metals industry, and previously worked for the Anglo American group in numerous senior positions, including executive director of Anglo American plc, according to a Rio Tinto press release.

“The board is delighted to have appointed Simon to chair Rio Tinto. He brings to the role a deep understanding of the mining industry, as well as a strong track record as a non-executive,” Rio Tinto senior independent director Ann Godbehere said in a statement.

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After assuming the role of chairman, Thompson will step down as chairman of Rio Tinto’s remuneration committee and will also cease to be a member of the audit committee, the company said.

“Rio Tinto is in great shape, with a strong management team, world-class assets and a successful strategy. I look forward to leading the board as we work with J-S and his team to ensure that Rio Tinto continues to deliver superior returns for its shareholders by maintaining its capital discipline and ‘value-over-volume’ approach,” Thompson said in a statement.

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