The biographies below provide details of the senior industry figures who have fulfilled the role of Chair of the World Gold Council.

Neal John Froneman 

2023 - Present

Neal Froneman is executive director and CEO of Sibanye-Stillwater, a role he has held since  1 January 2013. Over the past ten years he has led the transformation of Sibanye-Stillwater from a 1.5Moz South Africa-based gold miner into a leading diversified metals producer with an international operating footprint. The company now ranks as the world’s top primary producer of PGM metals with a leading position in the PGM recycling industry. Under Neal’s leadership, Sibanye-Stillwater has now started building an international portfolio of battery metal operations along with growing involvement in the circular economy and tailings reprocessing businesses. 

Neal’s career spans nearly 40 years during which time he worked at Gold Fields Limited (Gold Fields), Harmony Gold Mining Company Limited (Harmony) and JCI Limited. In April 2003, Neal was appointed CEO of Aflease Gold Limited (Aflease Gold), which, through a series of reverse take-overs, became Gold One International Limited (Gold One) in May 2009. He was primarily responsible for the creation of Uranium One Incorporated (Uranium One) from the Aflease Gold uranium assets. During this period, he was CEO of Aflease Gold and Uranium One until his resignation from Uranium One in February 2008. He held the CEO position at Gold One until his appointment at Sibanye-Stillwater.

Since 2021, he has been appointed as a member of the Wits Foundation Board of Governors and also serves on the council of the ICMM.

Randy Smallwood

2020 - 2023

President & Chief Executive Officer, Wheaton Precious Metals Corp. 

Randy Smallwood has been the Chief Executive Officer and President of Wheaton Precious Metals since 2011 and is one of the founding members.

Mr. Smallwood originally started as an exploration geologist with Wheaton River Minerals Ltd., and in 2001, was promoted to Director of Project Development, a role he held through the 2005 merger with Goldcorp (now Newmont).

Mr. Smallwood was an instrumental part of the team that built Wheaton River/Goldcorp into one of the largest and most profitable gold companies in the world. He is now focused on continuing to add to the impressive growth profile of Wheaton Precious Metals.

He is also the chairman of the board for Special Olympics BC, a member of the board of MineralsEd BC and a member of the organizing committee for Mining4Life, and previously on the board of the BC Cancer Foundation.

He holds a geological engineering degree from the University of British Columbia. 

Kelvin Dushnisky


Kelvin Dushnisky is Chief Executive Officer of AngloGold Ashanti, a position he has held since September 2018. Mr Dushnisky was previously President and a Director of Barrick Gold Corporation.

He is a member of the International Advisory Board of the Shanghai Gold Exchange, the Accenture Global Mining Executive Council, member and principal business advisor to the Institute of Business Advisers Southern Africa and the Institute of Directors Southern Africa.

He is also a member of the Law Society of British Columbia, the Canadian Bar Association, the Business Council of Canada, the Institute of the Americas and the Canadian Council for the Americas.

David Harquail

2017 - 2020

David Harquail is the CEO of Franco-Nevada Corporation

David Harquail has led the company since 2007 and previously held senior executive roles at Newmont Mining Corporation.  Franco-Nevada is the leading gold-focused royalty and streaming company and is listed on the Toronto and New York stock exchanges. 

He is a designated Professional Engineer with a Degree in Geological Engineering from the University of Toronto and a Masters of Business Administration from McGill University. David has served on many senior mining boards, industry associations and not-for-profits.

In 2016, his donation to Laurentian University in Sudbury underwrote both the Harquail School of Earth Sciences and its Mineral Exploration Research Centre. In 2017, he underwrote the Harquail Centre for Neuromodulation at Sunnybrook Health Sciences in Toronto.

Randall Oliphant

2012 - 2017

The late Randall Oliphant was the Executive Chairman of New Gold.

From 1999 to 2003, Randall was the President and Chief Executive Officer of Barrick Gold Corporation, and then served on the boards of a number of public companies and not-for-profit organizations.

In addition, Randall was the Chairman of Western Goldfields Inc. from 2006 until its business combination with New Gold in 2009, at which time he became the Executive Chairman of the combined company.

Randall served on the advisory board of Metalmark Capital LLC, and on the board of directors of Franco-Nevada Corporation, WesternZagros Resources Ltd. and Newmarket Gold Inc.

Randall was a Chartered Professional Accountant, CA.

Ian Telfer

2009 – 2011

Ian Telfer is the Chairman of Goldcorp Inc.

Ian began serving as Goldcorp’s Chief Executive Officer in 2004 after the company acquired Wheaton River Minerals. In 2006, Ian transitioned into his current Chairman role at the company.

Ian is also a Fellow in the Institute of Chartered Accountants, a member of the National Association of Corporate Directors, and a member of the Institute of Corporate Directors.

Ian was recently inducted into the Business Laureates of British Columbia (BLBC) Hall of Fame and, in 2015, was inducted into the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame for his long-standing contribution to the industry. In 2007, he was awarded the Western Canada Entrepreneur of the year award by Ernst & Young. 

A noted philanthropist; his donation to the University of Ottawa resulted in the Telfer School of Management, named in his honour.

Awarded a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Toronto and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Ottawa.

Greg Wilkins

2008 - 2009

The late Greg Wilkins was President and Chief Executive Officer of Barrick between 2003 and 2008 and also served as its Executive Vice-Chairman. He was earlier the Vice Chairman of TrizecHahn Corporation, a real estate company, and also served as its President and Chief Operating Officer.

Greg was a director of Knightsbridge Human Capital Management and a member of the Cabinet for The Heart for University Health Network Campaign.

He was a Chartered Accountant in Ontario and held an undergraduate degree from Concordia University.

Pierre Lassonde

2005 - 2008

Pierre Lassonde is the co-founder and Chairman of Franco-Nevada Corp. Formerly, President, Newmont Mining Corp.

Designated a Professional Engineer by the Association of Profession Engineers of Ontario and a CFA by the CFA Institute, Pierre holds a Bachelor of Science degree by Ecole Polytechnic of Montreal and a Master of Business Administration by the University of Utah.

Pierre has received seven Honorary PhD's from the Universities of Toronto, Montreal and Utah, as well as from Ryerson, Concordia, York and Western Universities.

Author of "The Gold Book: The Complete Investment Guide to Precious Metals" and a noted philanthropist. In spring 2014, his substantial donation to the University of Utah resulted in the creation of the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute.

Pierre is a member of the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame and the Order of Canada.

Christopher M Thompson        

2002 – 2005

Chief Executive Officer, Gold Fields Ltd, 1998 to 2002; Chairman Gold Fields Ltd, 1998 to 2005.

Chairman, Golden Star Resources Ltd, 2010 to 2012.

Bobby Godsell                           


Chief Executive Officer, AngloGold Ashanti, 1998 to 2007.

John Willson               

1999 - 2000

President and Chief Executive Officer, Placer Dome, 1993 to 1999.

Donald M Morley                      

1997 - 1999

Executive Director, Western Mining Corporation.

Harry M Conger                 

1995 - 1997

Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Homestake Mining Company.

Robin A Plumbridge             

1993 - 1995

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Gold Fields of South Africa.

Fraser M Fell

1991 - 1993

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Dome Mines Ltd. and Chairman, Placer Dome Inc.

Hugh M Morgan       

1989 -1990

Chief Executive Officer, Western Mining Corporation.

Gordon R Parker       

1987 – 1989

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Newmont Corporation.