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Christo was born on 18 November 1963 in Vereeniging and matriculated in 1981.

He obtained his Dip Tech (T5) in Metallurgical Engineering from the Vaal Triangle Technikon. He worked at Iscor Vanderbijlpark in Blast Furnaces Production for a year, then moved to Iscor Research and Development in Pretoria, where he worked in the Process Metallurgy Department for four years. His area of focus was iron manufacturing, with particular interest in the evaluation and characterization of iron ore, coal, and coke for the blast furnace, direct reduction, and the newly developed Corex-process.

During 1992, Christo accepted a position with Richards Bay Minerals (RBM), the heavy minerals sands operation then jointly owned by Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton. He started in the Development Metallurgy Section, where his responsibilities included flow sheet development, process optimization, and evaluating new technologies.

He gained valuable metallurgical and production experience over the next 14 years at various RBM plants including the roaster, char plant, iron processing, slag processing, and the smelter. His metallurgical responsibilities included increasing prime grade slag and pig iron production, furnace rebuilds, working in conjunction with the marketing department to establish new markets and customers, and the introduction of best practises in the process metallurgical field.

His human resources responsibilities included the management, training, and development of metallurgists. He completed his MDP through the University of Durban Westville during 1997.

Christo obtained valuable experience with regard to business restructuring (’right-sizing’) while in the position of team leader responsible for the SHEQ and technical departments.

He joined Spectrum Technical (Pty) Ltd in 2006 as a director and shareholder; his current position. Services to clients includes plant feasibility studies, flow sheet design, process equipment selection and supply, pilot-scale test work, plant commissioning, troubleshooting, and cost analyses in the metals and minerals industry.

Christo is married to Marietjie, and has two boys – Francois and Christo Jnr. He is also a keen jogger.

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Mining Weekly | Africa

The latest mining world news and project information from Africa.
  • Gold Fields invests R6m to boost mechanised mining skills in South Africa
    South African gold miner Gold Fields on Wednesday announced a R6-million, three-year partnership with the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) to further academic knowledge in the field of mechanised mining and rock engineering in South Africa. Gold Fields CEO Nick Holland and Wits vice-chancellor and principal Professor Adam Habib signed the partnership agreement, which involves Wits University’s School of Mining Engineering, the Wits Mining Institute and Gold Fields.
  • Sibanye share price rises on gold tailings deal with DRDGold
    The share price of Sibanye-Stillwater rose quickly and sharply on Wednesday on the news that the precious metals company had moved to create an industry-leading surface mining partnership with gold tailings retreatment company DRDGold. The proposed transaction, which saw the share price of Sibanye lift 3.65% to a  59c-higher R18.73 a share by early afternoon and the share price of DRDGold decline by a slight 0.81% to a 4 c-lower R4.92 c a share, involves Sibanye vending selected West Rand Tailings Retreatment Project (WRTRP) surface processing assets and tailings storage facilities into DRDGold for a 38% slice of the JSE-listed surface mining company’s ordinary share capital, which as at Tuesday was valued at R1.3-billion.
  • Gold miners shifting focus back to growth
    While global gold miners will gradually shift their focus from financial austerity to growth through acquisitions and increased spending, miners operating in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) will face elevated costs owing to regulatory uncertainty, power shortages and labour unrest, according to Fitch-affiliated research firm BMI. The firm cited Tanzania-focused miner Acacia Mining’s battle with local government, noting that it had announced plans in September to reduce operations at the Bulyanhulu gold mine, following unsuccessful negotiations over the government's decision to ban gold and copper ore exports.