Monday, December 5, 2022

British citizen takes over as OLM mines GM

Debswana has recently appointed a British citizen, Adrian Gale, to fill the position of General Manager (GM) for Orapa Letlhakane and Damtshaa Mines (OLM).

Gale, who is also part of the senior leadership team, succeeds Mmetla Masire who was acting GM since the first of April this year.

He joins the company at a time when the issue of the Operations Review Project (ORP) has workers in jitters as about 1,278 Debswana employees are expected to lose their jobs due to its implementation.

Before Masire, the company had also appointed Matome Malema on a temporary basis after struggling to find a replacement for Seb Sebetlela, the company’s preceding GM who left the company in January 2009 to join Tati Nickel Mine.

The history of OLM mines shows that the company has only had two permanent citizen GMs, Len Makwinja and Seb Sebetlela.

Len Makwinja made history by becoming the first citizen to fill the GM position in 1999. In 2005, he was promoted to the position of Deputy managing Director at the Debswana Head office, also a first for a citizen.  

A statement from the Group manager of Public and Corporate Affairs, Ester Kanaimba, revealed that Gale was selected after an extensive recruitment process in which a series of interviews, during which both citizen and expatriate candidates were assessed, was carried out.

“Dr Gale is a seasoned General Manager with extensive experience in successfully running different mines and leading teams across various organisations and countries.┬á He has a BSc (Hon) in Chemistry and a PhD in Synthetic Organic Chemistry from Kings College in London,” wrote Kanaimba.
She also said that Gale brings to Debswana, “a wealth of international experience having worked in many senior leadership roles across a number of organizations and industries”.

The new GM started his mining career in Zambia at the Zambian Consolidated Copper Mines. He then entered the Information Technology (IT) Business when he went back to England. He has held various roles under the IT segment, positions such as Operations Director, Group Operations Director as well as Managing director. He then returned to mining and metallurgy, working as a General Manager in Uganda and Australia. He was also a Director at INCO UK Refineries.

Gale has held the position of Deputy Managing Director in-charge of project construction, completion and commissioning of the $4 billion Goro Nickel Facility in New Caledonia, in the South Pacific.  

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