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Changes to the South32 Lead Team

14 MARCH 2024

Today we have announced a number of changes to South32's lead team - with Vanessa Torres appointed Chief Operating Officer Australia, and Erwin Schaufler joining the lead team as Chief Technical Officer.

Further to our recent announcement that South32 has entered into a binding agreement for the sale of Illawarra Metallurgical Coal to GEAR M Illawarra Met Coal Pty Ltd (the Buyer), we have agreed with the Buyer that Jason Economidis, Chief Operating Officer Australia, will become Chief Executive Officer of GEAR M Illawarra Met Coal Pty Ltd when the transaction is completed, which is expected to be in H1 FY25.

With the impending change, Mr Economidis will assume the interim role of Director, Illawarra Metallurgical Coal for South32 and will be accountable for the continued safe and reliable operation of Illawarra Metallurgical Coal and its smooth transition to new ownership.

“I would like to thank Jason for his significant contribution to South32 during his leadership of our Australian operations and as a member of the South32 Lead Team," said Graham Kerr, South32 Chief Executive Officer. "He has maintained a relentless focus on safety while overseeing initiatives to unlock existing resources through life extension projects at our Australian operations."

Vanessa Torres, currently Chief Technical Officer, has been appointed Chief Operating Officer Australia, with accountability for Australia Manganese, Cannington, and Worsley Alumina, alongside Noel Pillay who remains Chief Operating Officer with accountability for our operations in Africa and Colombia.

“Vanessa, in her current role as Chief Technical Officer, has led our multi-year Safety Improvement Program since its inception and, under her leadership, the Technical function has supported several critical projects in our business as well as delivered the definition and embedment of South32’s approach to technology, improvement and innovation, and establishment of the major brownfield projects function," said Graham.

"With 30 years of mining experience, Vanessa will bring considerable expertise in operations, projects, and strategy to the role of Chief Operating Officer Australia."

Erwin Schaufler, Vice President Operations Worsley Alumina, has been appointed Chief Technical Officer with accountability for Technology, Innovation, Business Optimisation, Global Business Services, Capital Projects, Planning, Health, Safety, Environment and Technical Stewardship.

“I am pleased to welcome Erwin to the South32 Lead Team. Erwin has been a key member of the Worsley Alumina leadership team for over six years, most recently as Vice President Operations where he has led strong operating performance and delivered the safety improvement plan, through the empowerment of the frontline safety representatives." said Graham.

"Prior to joining the Worsley Alumina team, Erwin spent a decade in various leadership roles in Marketing and Technology, including establishing the Marketing function when South32 was formed and leading major Technology projects.”

Pine Pienaar will join South32 on 2 April 2024 as Vice President Operations, Worsley Alumina. Mr Pienaar joins South32 from Queensland Alumina Limited, an independent joint venture between Rio Tinto and Rusal, where he most recently held the position of General Manager.

Learn more about the members of South32's lead team.