Deshnee Naidoo is stepping down as chief executive officer for Vale Base Metals (VBM), effective next March 31.
A search process is underway to find a successor, who will be based in Toronto, the company said in a Dec. 1 news release.
Vale Base Metals is a spinoff company of Brazil’s Vale SA that governs its global base metals assets. It is one of the world’s largest producers of nickel, copper and cobalt operations in Sudbury, Thompson, Man, and Voisey’s Bay, Labrador.
In a news release, Mark Cutifani, Vale Base Metals’ chairman, thanked for Naidoo for her commitment and dedication.
“She was instrumental in guiding the company through the carve out of the business earlier this year, which has positioned the company for value-creating growth in the coming years. For our producing operations and development projects, business improvement continues to be the focus. I look forward to working with Deshnee until the end of March as we guide the business to the next stage of our journey."
Trained as a chemical engineer, Naidoo joined Vale in January 2021 as chief financial officer and was bumped up to CEO of the newly created base metals branch in December of that year. She previously held senior management positions at Anglo American Thermal Coal and occupied the top jobs at Vedanta Zinc International and CMT, overseeing operations in Africa, Europe and Australia.
Naidoo called it a privilege to serve Vale.
“Having led the successful carve out of VBM from Vale SA, now is the right time for me to hand over to a successor who will take the business on to the next phase of growth. I am proud of what we have achieved and grateful to have had the opportunity to work with incredible people across the business and around the world. I look forward to continuing my role until the end of March and supporting the board with the succession process."
Vale SA CEO Eduardo Bartolomeo said Naidoo was a “valued member of the Vale executive team” in positioning the company for the next phase of growth.
“Under Deshnee's leadership, VBM has made notable improvements in safety performance, culture, operational reliability, key project approvals and project execution."
In catering to the electric vehicle industry, the company said it intends to invest between US$25 billion and $30 billion on mine projects in Brazil, Canada and Indonesia. The goal is nearly triple copper output to 900,000 tonnes a year and to almost double nickel production at the same time to 300,000 tonnes per year from 160,000 to 175,000 tonnes.