South Africa’s new president is “good news” for the mining industry, according to the chief executive of Anglo American, one of the country’s biggest producers.

“President Ramaphosa has made a very impressive start to his leadership,” Mark Cutifani told reporters on Thursday morning.

“He’s reached out to the industry and made it very clear that he sees mining a key industry going forward in terms of revitalising and driving growth through the economy. That’s good news for miners and for the country.”

Anglo generates a large chunk of its profits in South Africa, where it has a significant presence in platinum and diamonds. It is an influential member of the Chamber of Mines, an industry body that has been locked in a bitter dispute with the government about what its says are onerous new mining laws.

“All the signs are good. The one thing about the president is that he actually understands our industry and understands the importance of collaboration,” Mr Cutifani added.

Earlier this week, the Chamber suspended a legal challenge against the latest iteration of the mining charter after Mr Ramaphosa indicated in his State of the Nation address that he was willing to negotiate.

Mr Ramaphosa founded the National Union of Mineworkers and later Shanduka, a conglomerate that had interests in the mining industry.

“The fact that we have agreed to suspend the court actions on the mining charter is a great sign,” said Mr Cutifani. He was speaking after Anglo announced annual results and declared the biggest dividend payment in a decade.

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