South Africa's new President Cyril Ramaphosa has begun his tenure on the right foot with the mining sector, a chief executive has told CNBC.
"The new leadership under Mr. Ramaphosa has started very well," Anglo American CEO Mark Cutifani said Thursday. "They've reached out their hands to the mining industry and said they want to see the industry grow."
Resurrecting South Africa's mining industry is one of the long list of challenges that Ramaphosa must deal with. The country, though rich in coal, diamonds and gold — as well as being the world's leading platinum producer — has seen its mining industry founder in recent years due to high costs, low commodity prices and regulatory uncertainty, among other factors.
In 1980, it contributed 21 percent to gross domestic product — by 2016, this had shrunk to 8 percent, according to Statistics South Africa.
Ramaphosa himself has a background in mining, having established the country's powerful National Union of Mineworkers in 1982 and served on the board of platinum miner Lonmin.
He was sworn into office last week as former President Jacob Zuma stood down after days of intense political wrangling. Ramaphosa is viewed positively by the business community for his pledges to fight graft and pursue a pragmatic economic agenda.