Friday, February 22, 2019
Mike Schmidt

Mike Schmidt

African Rainbow Minerals

TIMES are tough, but Mike Schmidt can console himself - as he battles to keep ARM on the straight and narrow - with the thought that things could be very much worse. He could, for example, still be working for Lonmin. Schmidt was vice-president for Limpopo Operations at Lonmin in 2007 when he left the group to join ARM’s platinum operations. He was one of a number of highly experienced executives who left Lonmin at that time because they were unable to convince then newly-appointed CEO Brad ‘mechanisation zealot’ Mills that his radical plans to mechanise mining operations at some of Lonmin’s main Rustenburg shafts were simply not going to work. The roots of the current disaster at Lonmin can be traced back to the financial and logistical mayhem caused by Mills’ failed strategy which weakened the group before it was hit by the financial impacts of the downturn in the platinum market and then suffered the Marikana riots and unrest. The lesson learnt from the Mills’ era at Lonmin is probably one of the reasons Schmidt is viewed as a team player. He fits in well with the management ethos at ARM which has been described by his predecessor - Andre Wilkens - as being that “ARM is all about the team, not the individual.”


He’s a mining engineer holding a mine manager’s certificate and a Pr. Cert Eng. He started his career at Anglovaal’s Hartebeestfontein gold mine where he worked from 1979 to 1984. He joined ARM in 2007 after spending 13 years with Lonmin and was appointed CEO designate and a director of ARM with effect from September 2011. He has been CEO since March 2012.