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Steel maker and iron ore miner Arrium has named the head of its mining materials business as the successor to current chief executive Geoff Plummer.

Andrew Roberts will join the company's board immediately, and is expected to take over as chief executive in the first quarter of the 2013/14 financial year, Arrium said on Monday.

Mr Plummer had agreed to remain in his role until December 31, 2013.

"Andrew Roberts has been a key figure in the development and implementation of the transformation strategy at Arrium over recent years and I believe he is very well equipped to take the company ahead," Arrium chairman Peter Smedley said in a statement.

The company's shares were up eight cents, or 6.8 per cent, at $1.26 at 1252 AEDT.