South32’s COO appointed as gold miner Chaarat’s new CEO

Gold mining company Chaarat steals South32’s COO, Mike Fraser, as he takes on the role of its new CEO starting January 2022

South32’s COO Mike Fraser has swapped the company for Chaarat, and the role of COO for CEO. The gold miner operating in Kyrgyzstan and Armenia will see its new Chief Executive Officer assume the position at the beginning of 2022. 

Fraser is ready to hit the ground running and revamp Chaarat’s operations, using his experience at Western Australian mining and metals company South32 to streamline the company’s processes and ensure maximum efficiency to place Chaarat among the best in the mining business. 

In a statement, Fraser reveals his excitement to join the Chaarat team, raring to steer the miner’s Tulkubash and Kyzyltash gold projects towards their “next stage of development”.

Fraser swaps South32 COO for Chaarat CEO

“During [Fraser’s] time at South32, he has been directly responsible for the operations of underground mines, smelters, and project development,” Chaarat said, vouching for Fraser’s experience. The company’s new CEO holds an industry portfolio spanning more than 20 years, most recently responsible for overseeing South32’s aluminium and manganese projects in Africa and the Cerro Matoso operation in Colombia.

He’s also able to boast of being BHP’s Human Resources President and Mozal Aluminium’s Asset President, making him a highly valuable asset to Chaarat’s expanding team.

He replaces Interim Chief Executive Martin Andersson who assumed the role of CEO following the resignation of Artem Volynets after he chose to pursue a more senior role within Chaarat. Similarly, assuming the role of South32’s COO that Fraser leaves behind is Noel Pillay, who is currently Vice President of operations at Worseley Alumina. 

Tackling the gold ambitions of an emerging mining power

But Andersson is optimistic about Fraser’s appointment, looking forward to welcoming him to the team with his extensive industry knowledge and passion for growth. 

“[Fraser] brings a wealth of mining and metals industry experience, and I am delighted that he is joining Chaarat. His impressive track record for driving operational performance and culture will mean he is well-equipped to drive our performance going forward.”

The company, founded in 2007, has grown significantly since the acquisitions of its Kapan mine and processing company from Polymetal in 2019. Its Kyrgyzstan gold mine is predicted to produce around 57,000 ounces of gold equivalent in 2021 alongside Chaarat’s Tulkubash project, churning out around 95,000 ounces this year.


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