JEAN PIERRE DU PLESSIS
Vice President, Mining
Jean grew up in the North West Province of South Africa.
After school he attended the Potchefstroom University where he obtained a BSc Degree with majors in Geology and Chemistry. He continued his studies and 3 years later also graduated with a degree in Mining Engineering from the University of Pretoria.
He started his career in the deep level Gold Mines of South Africa with the then Gencor, which later became part of BHP Billiton. After his military training he continued his career with BHP in their chrome division, now known as Samancor Chrome. He progressed from leaner miner to engineer in training and later shift supervisor and mine overseer.
After short stints in the platinum mines and copper mines, he joined Hernic Ferrochrome in 1997 as their opencast mine manager. Hernic is owned by Mitsubishi Corporation and currently is the fourth largest producer of ferrochrome in the world. He was later appointed as General Manager Mining, responsible for all mining operations, including contractors and had a large workforce of 2,000 people reporting to him. During this time he also obtained his MBA from the University of Pretoria.
In 2010 he was appointed as COO of Chromex PLC where he was responsible for all operations form their Rustenburg based operations. Chromex was a small scale chrome operation. The Operations was successfully developed and subsequently sold to Ruukki.
In 2011 he moved to the United States of America and joined Globe Specialty Metals at their Kentucky coal operations. Globe Specialty Metals are among the world’s leading producer of Silicon metal and silicon based alloys. The coal in Kentucky is of very high quality and specifically mined for the production of silicon metal.
At the end of 2015 Globe Specialty Metals and Grupo FerroAtlantica merged to form Ferroglobe PLC. The new company is extremely diverse but still specialized in Silicon metal and silicon alloys. Jean was appointed as Vice President Mining with operations in USA, Spain, France, South Africa and now Mauritania.