Cutifani told Mining Weekly Online in a televised interview that his job was to understand how to support the skills and expertise within AngloGold Ashanti to find solutions to create that new future.
Asked what his safety record was like in Canada where the Ontario benchmark was the safety benchmark of the world, Cutifani conceded "upfront" that the operations he oversaw "never got to zero accidents".
"But the good news was that, in our Ontario operations, we had been awarded the safest mine in Canada award for the last three years running for different operations and, in fact, we had the deepest mines in Canada," Cutifani said.
Two of the operations had gone a full year without a lost time disabling injury.
"So those were remarkable achievements, but again the challenges are different here," he said of South Africa.
"We have got be careful and we have got to understand that certainly the complexity and the technical issues are much more significant here.
"But again the approach is all about the team and again my job is understanding how I support the skills and expertise that we've got here, to find those solutions to create that new future," he said.
Asked about his role in going to record depths in Canada and his appetite for going even deeper in already-deep South Africa, Cutifani said that for AngloGold Ashanti to have a future, it had to be successful at depth.
"I would have to say that the experience and skills I have in South Africa are exceptional and, if there are answers, they are in South Africa, and my job is to support the team to find those answers, so that we are successful, today and tomorrow," he said.
On the academic think-tank to which he was privy in Canada when helping to create Canada's deepest mines, he said that research was "absolutely critical" to mining safely at depth.
"I think it is about stakeholder engagement, the government, the unions and the companies coming together with a common vision and, certainly, from my point of view, I will do anything I can to support that discussion around getting the intellectual horsepower that we have in the country to come up with the solutions that we can all see will take us towards the future.
"If I can help that process in any way, shape or form, that is what I will be doing. It's not about blame, it's about us finding solutions and working together to create a new future for the organisation, our employees, our shareholders and the country," he said.