Anglo may seek to sell nine mines – Standard

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Firat Kayakiran

Anglo American, whose chief executive Mark Cutifani is reviewing assets to divest non-performing businesses, may announce at least nine more mines for sale, according to Standard Bank.

Anglo, which reports first-half earnings today, has said it was seeking to improve its return on capital to at least 15 percent by 2016 from about 8 percent in June 2013.

Cutifani has said he would consider disposing of assets that pulled down the average.

“It is likely that a divestment programme will be announced for the tier 3 assets that Anglo is unable to turn around,” Tim Clark, the head of mining and metals research at the bank, said in a note to investors dated Wednesday. “In May, Anglo outlined 31 tier 3 operations and described these as ‘cash or don’t carry’.”

A spokesman for Anglo in London declined to comment.

On Monday Anglo’s majority-owned Anglo American Platinum put four platinum mines and potentially two joint ventures in South Africa up for sale after agreeing on July 7 to divest its 50 percent stake in the UK’s Lafarge Tarmac to joint venture partner Lafarge for at least $1.5 billion (R15.8bn).

The company may sell nine further assets, according to Clark. They included metallurgical coal mines Callide and Foxleigh in Australia and the Kleinkopje thermal coal mine in South Africa, he said.

In its De Beers diamond operations, Anglo might sell Voorspoed and Kimberley Mines in South Africa and Snap Lake mine in Canada, he added.

Anglo is seeking to divest its nickel business by selling the Barro Alto and Codemin mines in Brazil, according to the note.

Mantoverde copper mine in Chile and some unapproved and undeveloped projects were also for sale, Clark said.

“We see this possible announcement as shoring up the balance sheet in the short term and focusing capital allocation on higher returning opportunities in the medium and longer term,” he said.

Out of 69 assets in the company, 31 were delivering just 2 percent of earnings before interest and tax, Cutifani said in May. The new management team had seen signs of improvement in 15 assets in the past year, while 16 “still have a lot of work to do”. – Bloomberg


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