Aquarius CEO Murray steps down
STUART Murray has resigned as CEO of Aquarius Platinum and as chairman of its principal subsidiary, Aquarius Platinum (South Africa), with effect from October 5.
Aquarius Platinum shares dropped nearly 7% on the JSE after the announcement.
At 2.41pm, the share was down 6.61% to R6.22, underperforming the platinum index, which was up 1.63%. The share price gave the company the market value of R2.941bn.
Mr Murray has also ended his directorships in all other group companies with immediate effect.
However, his employment with both Aquarius and the South African subsidiary will continue until March 31 2013, during which period he will provide whatever assistance is required to effect an orderly handover.
"Stuart Murray has pretty much been the face of Aquarius Platinum," Nomura analysts said in a morning note.
"After an extremely difficult last three years for the company there will be plenty of speculation surrounding whether or not there is more bad news to come."
The board would consider a replacement in due course, it said on Monday.
In the interim Jean Nel has been appointed chief operating officer of Aquarius Platinum and Zwelakhe Mankazana has been appointed interim nonexecutive chairman of Aquarius Platinum (South Africa).
Aquarius recently suspended two mining operations because of weak platinum prices, high costs and operational difficulties — which are affecting the entire platinum mining sector.
The mine has also been hit by the industrial action plaguing the mining sector.
With Allan Seccombe and Reuters
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