Barrie van der Merwe says new role at Orica will "result in career and personal growth"

Barrie has been appointed as the new vice president of finance at Australia-based Orica.

Orica, the world’s largest provider of commercial explosives and innovative blasting systems, has appointed former Lonmin CFO Barrie van der Merwe as its new vice president of finance. 

About his appointment, Barrie said: 

“I am looking forward to working in a new industry in a company with global reach. I know that it will result in career and personal growth. I also feel most privileged to get this opportunity as, in South Africa, opportunities for me were becoming very limited, despite my personal willingness to get involved, even though the country has big challenges with which my skills and experience could be valuable.”

His appointment will see Barrie and his family moving to Melbourne. “We are looking forward to a new adventure in a new country,” Barrie said. “This will be our second expatriate posting as we had previously, between 2013 and 2015, lived in Botswana, where I was CFO of Debswana Diamond Company, a joint venture between De Beers and the Government of the Republic of Botswana. That proved to be a very enriching and satisfying experience to all of us.” 

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Prior to his appointment at Orica, Barrie was the CFO and an executive director at Lonmin for three years. “Lonmin had to find a long-term solution to its strategic risk of a lack of geographic and commodity diversification, which resulted in the acquisition of the company by Sibanye-Stillwater. A process in which I was instrumental. Following the finalisation of the merger, I decided to move on to new things,” Barrie said. 

“Working at Lonmin was a tremendous experience. It taught me many lessons in resilience, never giving up, making lots of plans for the company to survive and the value of diverse teams.  I will miss all of that a lot.”

Read more: Leadership after the scars: the inspiring tale of Lonmin CFO Barrie van der Merwe