INCOMING Anglo American chief executive Mark Cutifani has flagged major changes to the mining giant's operations, saying productivity is a key concern and one where the mining industry is decades behind other industries.
Unlike many miners bemoaning the high costs of doing business in Australia, Mr Cutifani did not point the finger at governments, but said the industry itself had let things slip.
"In the mining industry, we're some 20 to 30 years behind other more progressive sectors in terms of productivity and business practices," Mr Cutifani said.
He told News Ltd that a good mineral deposit had tended to make a good mining manager.
"We've got to go beyond that and make sure that we're working our assets, the engine room, as hard as we can," the Wollongong-born mining boss said.
It is unclear what this may mean for Anglo American's 3500 permanent Australian employees and 1500 contractors working in Queensland and NSW coalmines.
Before his latest appointment, Mr Cutifani was chief executive officer of AngloGold Ashanti Limited, the South Africa-based gold producer, since 2007 and led the restructuring and development of its business, which includes operations in 10 countries on four continents.
He started his career in the coal and gold mining industries in Australia and has experience across a wide range of commodities.