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Chris Salisbury

Chris is a highly experienced mining executive, with over 30 years’ global experience across senior strategic and operational roles at the world class Rio Tinto Group, culminating in the position of Chief Executive Iron Ore (2016-20).


Recognised as a transformational leader, Chris has delivered significant improvements across safety, productivity and culture. He has extensive experience in brownfield and greenfield capital development.

Chris believes that the role of a leader is to enable people to effectively contribute – to the business, to their team, to their aspirations and in their lives. Acting as a mentor is something he has passionately pursued throughout his working career: thriving on seeing others be successful in their roles.


Having worked with individuals and teams in a range of contexts and cultures, he is a strong believer in diversity in all its forms, enabled by inclusive behaviour at every level of the organisation.


He has been a major contributor in the redesign of education to support people in navigating the transition to a digital future.

Chris’ career commenced as a metallurgy trainee at BHP’s Whyalla integrated steelworks, which inspired his passion for effective leadership.


After joining Rio Tinto in 1988 as a graduate, he gained his first middle management role in 1994. Progressing through various GM operational, COO and MD roles, he ultimately joined Rio Tinto’s Exco in 2016. He was by then leading arguably the world’s largest integrated mining system in the Pilbara, involving over 20,000 skilled employees and contractors, managed from a digital operations centre in Perth, WA.


He has worked in a variety of commodities including bauxite, alumina, aluminium, coal, uranium, salt, copper and iron ore. His career has seen him located in varied places across Australia, and overseas in New Zealand and Namibia, and he has worked with key stakeholders in many Asian countries.


Chris also has board experience in a variety of companies including as Chairman of Deep Yellow Ltd, and non-executive director BCI Minerals Ltd and Infinite Green Energy Ltd. A qualified metallurgical engineer, he is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Chris is married and has three children, who are all developing their own careers. He is a passionate Port Adelaide football supporter and has a fascination with classic cars.